Jeff Kummer – “Your Best Alternative”

February 24, 2010

It wasn’t long after highly underrated band The Early November parted ways in 2007 that the respective former members would branch off into projects of their own: frontman Ace Enders would eventually release music under the Ace Enders And A Million Different People moniker (featuring former TEN bassist Serg Anello as well), guitarist Joe Marro would take a stab at solo life with Joseph Marro And The Hum Drum (before joining Hellogoodbye as their keyboardist/guitarist), guitarist Bill Lugg would become ensconced in other projects, both musical and otherwise, while drummer Jeff Kummer would form Your Sweet Uncertainty, a group which featured former members of The Early November and a more pop/rock sound.

In 2008, Jeff started releasing solo music online, mainly in preparation for a solo album he hoped to put out at some point.  The new tunes, especially the upbeat, “Make Plans, ” showcased a side of this musician many may not have realized-catchy songwriting, both in lyrics and in music, and a great voice captured many an ear, instantly building anticipation for what could potentially be a fine record.

The remainder of 2008 and into 2009 would see Jeff continuing to work on new material and fine-tune already existing songs before entering Portrait Studios in New Jersey for a reunion with longtime TEN producer Chris Badami and an official start to the recording progress.  Thanks to video and text updates on Myspace and Twitter, fans were able to see the album come to fruition as time went by, and in 2009 the album’s title Your Best Alternative and cover were revealed, along with several new songs.

As the decade came to a close, the album was finally released.

Needless to say, it was worth the wait.

On Your Best Alternative, Jeff has established himself a welcome addition to the world of pop/rock, with a record full of songs that recall 90s-esque groups like Third Eye Blind as opposed to the cookie cutter emo that so many musicians seem to be producing these days.  Opening track, “Grace Period, ” may only be a minute-and-a-half long, but the fast tempo and overall excitement make it the perfect intro (Grace Period was also the original name of Jeff’s previous band Your Sweet Uncertainty, an interesting reference).  “Make Plans, ” make a return appearance, but the album version is a far cry from the 2008 demo, with big guitars, tight drums and incredibly solid vocal harmonies.  “Safe To Say, ” and, “Write Me Off, ” could easily become singles-two unbelievably catchy songs that continue to further the upbeat pop/rock flow of the record.  “Joanna, ” sounds like Weezer finally recapturing that Blue Album-era sound, while, “This Makes Perfect Sense, ” the album’s finest song, brings forgotten groups like Lit and Everclear to mind with the appealing lead guitar and a sing-along chorus.

I can say with all honesty I didn’t want Your Best Alternative to come to a close.  One can only hope the rising talent that is Jeff Kummer will release more new music soon.

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