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Cover Art Lifetime
Jersey's Best Dancers
[Jade Tree]
Rating: 8.5

Hailing from the swamps of New Jersey comes Lifetime with their final sonic offering. Despite several years of focused toil with ever- increasing success, the band has decided to call it quits, but not before serving up one more delightful slab of melodic hardcore bliss. Far from being a compilation of leftover material, Jersey's Best Dancers portrays Lifetime at the height of their craft; a fitting swan song for a band that's been in a constant stage of evolution and progression since its inception.

Those who've followed Lifetime from the beginning won't likely be surprised by songs like "Turnpike Gates," "Bringing It Backwards," and "How We Are." They're songs that most closely resemble the old Lifetime; a band brimming with youthful exuberance and a seemingly undying sense of energy, blasting through songs at breakneck speed all in the name of hardcore. But as the band's legacy continued, they began to experiment with different tempos, tones, and styles, drawing extensively upon more diverse bands like Dag Nasty, Samiam, and Farside in the creation of their music. These influences are evident in songs like "Young, Loud, and Scotty," "Hey Catrine," and "Theme Song for a New Brunswick Basement Show" where the band slows down the tempo, plays with irregular rhythms, and brings the melody of both Ari Katz's vocals and Pete Martin's and Dan Yemin's inventive guitar chords to the forefront.

It's unfortunate that a scene riddled with metal- wannabes, power- chord dependence, and pigeonholed styles is losing such a proficient and creative band. With any luck, the newly scattered members will bring their expanded visions to a host of new bands, providing us with inspiring sounds like those found on Jersey's Best Dancers for many years to come.

-Kevin Ruggeri






10.0: Essential
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible