Jimmy Eat World were the schoolboy innocents of the mid-Nineties emo scene, plying lively, down-the-middle tunes applicable to smooching teens of any era. Twenty years later, on their first album since 2010, the Arizona guys still sound sweet. They're also hall-monitor dull – these meat and potatoes sure could use some fresh gravy. For frontman James Adkins, a kiss is never "just a kiss," pain's "buried deep," and every sentiment calls for a dark, itchy melody.The simple pleasures on Damage – the bells solo in "Book of Love," the decidedly unmacho crunch of "I Will Steal You Back" – stir up plenty of warm feeling. But after all this time, you still won't mistake it for afterglow.
From The Archives Issue 1185: June 20, 2013