Critic's Choice

Jimmy Eat World

Although Jimmy Eat World -- which performs Monday, August 27, at the 15th Street Tavern with Reuben's Accomplice -- toured last fall, the Mesa, Arizona, band has kept a low profile over the last several months. That's all come to a screaming halt, as the band has gathered itself, settled down with a label after a long stint of flying solo and dropped its first full-length studio effort in two years. Jimmy's record company isn't the only thing that's changed in the interim: While the band built its name on jangly emo-pop in the same vein as the Promise Ring, its new platter, Bleed American, jettisons the more easily pigeonholed styles of its earlier releases. While traces of both pop punk and emo pop poke their heads out of the washes of warm guitars and snappy rhythms, Bleed American sits closer to deliciously straight-up power pop. While trend-hopping fans may bemoan the band's dismissal of its more fad-oriented fare, Jimmy Eat World is simply making good on its long-standing debt to pop music. It's a welcome -- and satisfying -- makeover. The group is joined on its current tour by Reuben's Accomplice, another Arizona outfit. Hailed for its clever approach to wistfully poppy indie rock, Reuben's is touring behind its debut album, I Blame the Scenery. All hail the Grand Canyon State.
 
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