Most likely you've been alive long enough to have heard Jimmy Eat World, at least the band's early century hits "The Middle" and "Authority Song." Similar though distinguishable from emo peers like The Promise Ring or Jets to Brazil, the band's 20 years haven't necessarily begotten progress. Damage sounds like vintage Jimmy Eat World, since 12 years after the band broke through with Bleed American, not much has changed.
The beats and guitars are heavy in the background, but Jim Adkins sings softly of love, loss and the destination that whole trip becomes. The album showcases some diversity: slow moments of harmonized "ahs," the noisy anthem "I Will Steal You Back" and the barebones "You Were Good," which sounds like it was recorded on tape in a bedroom—an obvious nod to the band's early and still loyal followers.
Without context, Damage is fantastic. It's catchy like Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," but more meaningful, like the first sad song you ever loved. Yet for all the high marks these songs get, the album is simply another entry in the Jimmy Eat World canon, a sidenote in the margins of its next big thing. That next big thing is yet to come.
Jimmy Eat World and Sick Kids XOXO play the Wilma Wed., July 10, at 9 PM. $26.