Jimmy Eat World : Glasgow QMU

Extra syllable or no, Jimmy Eat World [/url] are a delightfully uncomplicated pleasure...

Arizonan pop-punk sensations [a]Jimmy Eat World[/a] have garnered lavish praise and vibrant sales figures since the release of their superlative ‘Jimmy Eat World’ album (né ‘Bleed American’) last autumn. Tonight, though, at the Scottish debut of their UK tour, they have acquired a whole new syllable to their name.

“JIMMY EAT WUR-(I)ULD(I)!” cry several dozen voices as the heartfelt strains of ‘Blister’ peter out, and the four unassuming rock darlings trot offstage to wipe the sheen of Glaswegian adulation off their brows.

Rapidly, though, that mouthful amends to simple cry of “Jim-MY! Jim-MY! Jim-MY!” And soon the tune-packing sop-core Everymen are back, percolating through ‘The Middle’, their near-lethally brilliant current single. It’s about alienation. And it’s a hit here: as any fan of alterna-pop knows, there’s nothing quite like bouncing around with a few hundred like-minded souls to a song about how no one understands you. [a]Jimmy Eat World[/a] understand this need perfectly, hence their irresistible appeal to moshers and wallflowers alike.

It’s funny how the evolving [a]Jimmy Eat World[/a] songbook has, like tonight’s chanting, gone from garbled to simple. Back on ‘Static Prevails’, the tunes were angular, husky and ’emo’. [a]Jimmy Eat World[/a] got famous, and ended up a warm, hook-laden, gooey Turkish Delight of a band. So old 16-minute guitar explorations like ‘Goodbye Sky Harbor’ come carefully abridged tonight, while other bits of ‘Static’ and ‘Clarity’ (say, the roiling chugga punk of ‘Rockstar’) have their pop content upped to the max.

The new songs are, of course, mighty punchy too (this is an understatement). ‘Salt Sweat Sugar’ heads the charge, whipping the youth of QMU into a tangle of jutting limbs. It’s never a rough pit, though. The obvious Foo Fighters influence aside, [a]Jimmy Eat World[/a] ‘s prevailing vibe recalls that of the early 60s, an era of simple, innocent exuberance, before Vietnam made rock ‘n’ roll dangerous. Certainly, singer Jim Adkins has a way of using his floppy schoolboy fringe as punctuation, bringing something of American Bandstand’s parade of mop tops to ‘Authority Song’. The lovely harmonies don’t hurt either; and they’re echoed in the chants that fill the air once again as the final encore of ‘Sweetness’ winds down. Extra syllable or no, [a]Jimmy Eat World[/a] are a delightfully uncomplicated pleasure.

Kitty Empire