It’s so hard to believe that Australian alternative rockers Jebediah are celebrating their twentieth anniversary as a band this year. It feels like yesterday that they soared from being a local Perth band to dominating the Australian charts in the mid-to-late 90’s and beyond. To celebrate this milestone, Kevin, Brett, Vanessa and Chris have announced a colossal 20th Anniversay Tour of Australia this May/June, AND the release of their collection Twenty featuring (yep, you guessed it) 20 songs spanning their career, all hand chosen by the band. It’s time to celebrate 20 years of Jebs, and what better way to do so than reminisce while listening to Twenty in full?
What would Jebediah be without lead singer Kevin Mitchell’s nasally vocals? The group’s beloved sound would definitely not have the same ring to it, and kicking this collection off with Star Machine is a ripping way to reintroduce us (or introduce for new fans) to the calm and the storm that occur in many of their tracks. The captivating Fall Down was one of their 2002 self-titled album’s highlights with its bagpiped intro and bridge and its full sound. There’s barely a dull moment with this band. It would be a crime for Jebs to ignore the significance Jerks Of Attention had on their early career: it was one of their most rotated songs on Australian radio and is the track that started it all. Awesome single Animal scored the band nineteenth position on the Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 1999 and is easily one of their most memorable tracks.
In 2005 Jebediah went on hiatus, and thankfully six years later they remerged in 2011 with the album Kosciuszko and a new sound, delving deeper into the fusion of pop/rock; Control was one of the tracks from that record that successfully combined the two genres. Leaving Home further broadened the group’s horizons as the second single from their debut album Slightly Odway: it has an addictive and explosive chorus that you can’t help but belt along to. After breaking away from their record label, Jebs ventured into independence with their fourth album Braxton Hicks in 2004: its lead single First Time marked this moment in their career in true Jebs style with its constant beat. Jebediah have always been a radio favourite, but She’s Like A Comet was a single that just seemed so eager to get a feel for the airwaves, and it’s arguably one of the group’s most catchiest singles to date.
The release of Harpoon created Triple J Hottest 100 history in 1998 as two versions of the song featured in the poll, both Jebediah’s original single and Australian band Something For Kate’s cover version: very well deserved for the heartfelt pop/rock number. Please Leave gives us a bit of a breather, right before we are launched into the loud and edgy Military Strongmen; Tracksuit has a memorable melody and easy going arrangement, still proving a treat for the ears since the Twitch EP came out in 1996. Feet Touch The Ground is hands down one of the group’s most memorable songs: the track was written about the passing of Kevin and Brett Mitchell’s father in 1998, and the emotional time was turned into a relatable and explosive five minutes of rock. It’s Over hails from Braxton Hicks and has a more laid back feel compared to the usual fan favourite.
It’s great that B-Sides have been included, Monument stayed true to the group’s earthy sound and would have been perfect to have been included on Slightly Odway or Of Someday Shambles. Some rock bands rely on the roar of their guitars, but Jebediah accompany them with the roar of Kev’s vocal, it’s this combination that gives Yesterday When I Was Brave life. More Alone is definitely a stand out track and saw Jebs fall more into the world of pop/rock with its catchy chorus; Teflon was yet another success for the group on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 1998, which featured three of their songs in total that year, reminding us of just how addictive their music was in the 90s, and of course now. Lost My Nerve is probably the most intriguing rock song featured on Kosciuszko, it sounds phenomenal live too; Run Of The Company concludes the collection on a classic Jebediah note, the nasally vocals and rocked out choruses have come to an end…for now.
Twenty is not only a collection, it’s a celebration of this great alternative rock band that Australia got to see grow up, receiving a nationally renowned name in Australian pubs and music venues and developing an instantly identifiable sound. It makes so much sense when listening to Twenty as to why the group picked the songs they did: there’s a history behind many of them that lend a hand in shape their career. Fans old and new have been very lucky to have been a part of the very big Jebs experience: this album is a must have and a keepsake. Thank you for your music Jebediah, and here’s to another 20 years!