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Shane’s Rock Challenge: JEBEDIAH – 1997 – Slightly Odway

| 13 June 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Rock Challenge: JEBEDIAH – 1997 – Slightly Odway
By Shane Pinnegar

Jebediah - Slightly Odway cover

By late ’97 I was working as Head Chef of a little café/restaurant in the French Alps called L’Office, in the shadow of the mighty Mont Blanc. Good new music – rock music – was slim on the ground in a country obsessed by Spice Girls and Gaultier (at least I think that was the DJ’s name…). Couple that with several years of night and weekend work, and I had fallen about as out of touch with the Perth music scene as… well, as anyone in France, really.

The internet was pretty new then and if bands were using it for publicity and marketing like they do now (and I don’t recall them doing so) then backpackers like me couldn’t afford to sit in internet café’s and surf their websites for hours!

Anyway, one day a care package arrived from home – maybe it was my birthday (which, incidentally, is Bastille Day, so all of France celebrated and I had one hell of a 36 hour bender!)

In that package was this CD… Jebediah. ‘Never ‘eard of ‘em,’ I thought, and although my tastes had always been broad, I was still at heart a rock and metalhead rather than a lover of all things indie – especially with Kevin Mitchell’s nasal vocals…

France was the perfect environment to open my mind to new musical styles though – with very little new music of my taste making it halfway up the alps, I had to persevere and, in no time at all, fell in love with The Jebs – as did some of my mates there and my then-girlfriend.

What Jebediah did so well was hammer down great melodies with a sort-of pop punk vibrancy, and an indi pub-rock attitude. It all added up to something pretty unique and they hit the road far and wide, inspiring Slightly Odway’s somewhat darker follow-up (Of Someday Shambles, 1999) and so remains their bounciest, most optimistic record.

Songs like Leaving Home, the lovesick Harpoon, Invaders, Spoil The Show & Teflon all show what a great songwriter Mitchell (you may know him from his more recent solo work as Bob Evans) was almost from day one, with Leaving Home and Military Strongmen both polling well in the 1997 Triple J Hottest 100, and Jerks Of Attention being awarded the WA Music Industry most popular song gong. Harpoon then went on to be voted #7 in Triple J’s 1998 Hottest 100, with Something For Kate’s cover of the song also rating in the top 50 in the same year.

The whole album really resonated with the indie vibe of the time, and the desperate angsty-teen vibe of Triple J in particular, and remains a favourite with many, being rated #15 in Triple J’s Greatest 100 Australian albums of all time. Personally, it’s a sentimental favourite and contains one of my favourite false endings of a last track ever in La Di Da Da.

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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