Anyone silly enough to believe that music journalism is populated exclusively by deep thinkers will be quickly disabused of the notion after thumbing through the Jucifer clip file. Most articles about the combo mention that it sprang from the same Athens, Georgia, scene that produced R.E.M. -- an act that graduated from the Peach State a decade or more before Amber Valentine and Ed Livengood began performing together, and sounds nothing like them, anyway. The same pieces generally suggest that because Valentine is a singer/guitarist and Livengood plays drums, the two are a reverse image of the White Stripes -- another group whose music has approximately zip in common with Jucifer's approach. Indeed, 2004's War Bird, an EP available on the Velocette imprint, is characterized by "Ides of Light," a song that juxtaposes Valentine's affectless, often gentle vocals with slabs o' guitar that move across the sonic landscape like giants looking for a city to stomp. For that reason, folks expecting a rockin' tribute to Michael Stipe and Jack White would be well advised to steer clear of the Lounge when Jucifer shares the bill with Buried Inside, Turambar and Across Tundras. Otherwise, they'll be out of their depth.


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