Review: Finding Jupiter’s ‘Racing Against the Sun’

Sept. 24, 2010, 3:00 a.m.

Review: Finding Jupiter's 'Racing Against the Sun'
Finding Jupiter from left to right: Luke Georgette '10, Peter McDonald '11, Sarah Masimore '11 and Dean Schaffer '10. (Courtesy of Finding Jupiter)

Finding Jupiter is a year-old, four-piece rock outfit that hails from our own institution of higher learning. Born amid the perpetual sunshine and $50,000-a-year tuition of Stanford, Calif., this futuristic punk-rock band manages to bring a much-needed edge to the otherwise flawless veneer of the Farm.

Review: Finding Jupiter's 'Racing Against the Sun'On their first studio album, Sarah Masimore ‘11, Dean Schaffer ‘10, Luke Georgette ‘10 and Peter McDonald ’11 deliver 12 tracks of awesomeness. (Disclosure: McDonald is also a Daily columnist.) Although it is a relatively young band, its sound is a far cry from the grungy, unpolished garage bands whose MySpace pages populate our generation’s collective consciousness. The members of Finding Jupiter, whose bathroom-stall photo shoot The Unofficial Stanford Blog noted in August, are real musicians. Their latest release is not a crappy demo; it’s a full-blown rock album. And it’s worth the ridiculous tax on iTunes.

Finding Jupiter’s sound is a pleasant blend of punk rock, funk rock and folk. They boast great guitars and groovy drums, highlighted by Masimore’s original vocals. Think Tegan and Sara meets Maria Taylor and they all make sweet, sweet love.

The album starts strong with “Hey Whitney,” a funkadelic ode to unrequited love. If you’re a fan of angst, heartbreak and syncopated beats, you’ll love this song. The band will be known for this hit once it makes it big. Be sure to give the reprise a good listen. The acoustic version will melt your heart and make you want to do some serious requiting of Masimore’s love.

Other highlights include “Carry,” which channels an outer-space vibe with its ethereal guitar riff. This song is everything Incubus wanted to do but couldn’t. “Raze the City” features a fresh and funky acoustic riff, complete with Masimore’s clear vocals and sexy harmonies. She’ll send shivers down your spine as she sings, “This girl is gonna break my heart, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Toward the latter half of the album, “One More Night” has the catchiest chorus, allowing every member of the band to show off their individual musical styles.

All in all, it’s an album full of college rock hits. Their distinct sound is not to be missed, and they’ve clearly given each recording the TLC necessary to produce a solid CD. My only regret is that their brilliant rendition of “Birthday Sex” didn’t make it onto the final track list. Be sure to check out their live shows to hear said cover. You’ll thank me.

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