BIO: The members of Junior Private Detective originally met in January of 2002 in a quaint factory town that smelled of burnt plastic called Chillicothe, Ohio. They were all attending an audio engineering school. It was neat. Secretly the four creative minds daydreamed of making music of their own. Students were encouraged to play songs to be recorded by other kids at the school, so JPD met together in a rehearsal space and wrote four songs in three (hour-long) practices. They liked each other very much. A group of students recorded a version of one of JPDs songs, and it stunk. Frustrated though not beaten, JPD was inspired to pool their finances together to recruit an instructor's expertise and record the Permagrin Mugshot EP. It was fun. Afterwards, they graduated and went back home to their normal hum-drum lives. From their respective hometowns of Boise, Ann Arbor, and Columbus, they made plans to move together and continue what they'd started. Months later, they headed west to Portland, Oregon and moved into a house together. Yay! This was a house that was not only very large, but very magical. The basement had previously been home to Laundry Rules Studios, a recording facility where artists like Cat Power and Elliot Smith had recorded some of their earliest stuff. Even though evil skeptics warned the band that the house was haunted, the price was so undeniably cheap that JPD didn't really mind. Living together let them practice nightly and quickly start fine-tuning a unique style that combined various Math-rock, Post-punk, New Wave, Prog, and Indie genres. However, they liked to think of their new sound as merely art-rock (what do all those words mean anyways?). In the spring of 2003 they recorded their debut album 'Square' with Larry Crane at Jackpot Studios. It received many very nice reviews. Nobody has cried even once! Since moving to Portland 3 1/2 years ago Junior Private Detective have played constantly. Travels have taken them as far east as Chicago and as far south as San Diego. Local showcases NW Music Fest 03,04,05 and PDX Pop Now 04,05 have been highlights of a long list of shows in Portland. REVIEWS: 'Think the Pixies meet early 10,000 Maniacs and Yes, with some Fugazi and Beat Happening thrown in for good measure. If it sounds like a stretch, it is, but the band is talented enough and driven enough to make it work.' - Oregon Music Guide 'What do you get when you mix the precision and odd time changes of math rock with the melody and energy of pure pop? A unique and entertaining listen. Mix that with a very unique, low slung, but still pretty female lead vocal and you've got Square by Junior Private Detective.' -South of Mainstream 'Square recalls everything you loved about (early) Stereolab -- keys, jazz-like rhythms, unexpected tempo shifts -- while retaining a sense of the group's Northwestern roots. Smart and savvy, Square is an album of style and substance -- evidence of a band whose depth has barely been tapped. ' -Splendid 'Junior Private Detective are one of those rare bands where the individual members bring many different skills to the table and yet the whole is greater than the sum. Emily's accomplished keyboard skills and witty, almost deadpan vocals somehow come across more like Linda Thompson than B52's. Bo's guitar-hero capabilities are tamed by a strong sense of what the song needs as opposed to what he 'could' do. Jason's bass playing can be static Pixie-like roots or highly melodic and driving. Marci is hands down one of the best female drummers in Portland, and that says a lot around here. But the end result is a band that combines all their strengths while playing together as a combo, a rare treat. - Larry Crane (Tape Op Magazine and Jackpot Studios) '...good, modern, solid indie-rock that's sure to level your playing field.' -Music Liberation Project 'Swirls you around through sounds of prog-rock to post-punk, from twinkling indie keyboards to classically influenced arrangements.' -Delusions of Adequacy 'It's by some small miracle that Junior Private Detective's debut, Square, is this disciplined and original and, at times, breathtaking. Instrumental precision and difficult time-signatures share time with New Wave's cold tunefulness and post-grunge riffage for a consistently changing, challenging musical backdrop, while vocalist Emilie's impossibly low register alternates between a sultry, distant Debbie Harry and Natalie Merchant's overblown theatrics.' - Willamette Week 'Junior Private Detective has a poppy, jerky sound, with hilariously straight-faced lyrics about romantic Nintendo gaming and other extra-funny contributions to the art of imposing profundity and sentimentality on the seemingly ridiculous or mundane' - The Mercury 'The guitarist and bassist were so tight in their adventurous melodies that they might have been dubbed math-rock if they were a bit harder, but as it was it was very poppy in a good way.' -Nexus Underground ' The goriest set saw JPD's Bo Fickel paint his guitar red with a bloody hand. Ignoring the injury, the band played on, goosing a sluggish midafternoon Saturday crowd with Rhodes-rockin', calculus-based pop tunes. Their complex sound proved, yes, you can dance with a slide rule.' - review of performance at the PDX Pop Fest in the Willamette Week.
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