Blinker the Star — Juvenile Universe (20 Nov., 2020) Location: Pembroke, Ontario, Canada
Album release: 20 Nov., 2020
Record Label: Nile River Records
01. Juvenile Universe 5:09
02. Only to Run Wild 4:41
03. Way Off Wave 4:23
04. Silent Types 3:49
05. Cairo 5:32
06. You Missed the Last Bus 7:22
07. Terror of the Heart 3:42
08. The Band Is Back in Town 2:48
By SABY REYES~KULKARNI ⌊17 Dec 2020⌋ INTERVIEW
⊆⊕⊇ When Blinker the Star released their third album August Everywhere in 1999, the moment was ripe for project founder and mastermind Jordon Zadorozny to stake out his own niche by embodying both DIY and pop sensibilities in a way that was unmistakably his own. At the time, a generation of independent~minded artists like Pavement, Guided By Voices, Morphine, Soul Coughing, and even the Brian Jonestown Massacre had managed to preserve their creative essence even as they entered into partnerships with labels that gave them sizable production budgets to work with. We may look back on the ’90s as the time when alternative music took on all the excesses of the mainstream, but the fact is that the period is filled with examples of artful records that benefitted from a rare alignment of commercial and creative instincts. It was that confluence of forces that paved the way for Zadorozny to combine the most compelling aspects of heavy rock, psychedelia, space rock, prog, and ’70s AM pop on August Everywhere, exemplified most visibly by its single “Below the Sliding Doors”.
⊆⊕⊇ After spending the decade releasing albums via A&M and Dreamworks, Zadorozny took matters back into his own hands, eventually relocating back to his native Pembroke, Ontario (a small town near the Quebec border about 90 miles outside of Ottawa, pronounced pem~brook). A child of two musical parents who owned a music store, Zadorozny began recording himself as a pre~teen. Working under the guidance of Failure bandleader/producer Ken Andrews on August Everywhere (and its 1996 predecessor A Bourgeois Kitten), Zadorozny’s studio~rat instincts blossoming into a full~blown production career of his own, producing the likes of Melissa Auf der Maur and the highly awarded Canadian star Sam Roberts alongside collaborations with Chris Cornell, Lindsey Buckingham, and others.
⊆⊕⊇ Since reviving Blinker The Star as a solo vehicle earlier this decade, Zadorozny has been on something of a hot streak, approaching his own music with a renewed vigor that’s resulted in three new full~length releases since 2017. On his brand new album Juvenile Universe, tunes like “You Missed the Last Bus”, “Only to Run Wild” and the title track, Zadorozny has once again crafted some of the most dynamic, vibrant rock of the modern era, setting a template for how ’90s artists can age gracefully to make music that’s stunningly contemporary. Never one whose work was defined by angst alone, with Juvenile Universe Zadorozny has come up with a mature, rather adult twist on rock that reaches far beyond ’90s stereotypes — while also showcasing the masterful songwriting touch that enables us to imagine another new batch of songs as present-day radio staples. — PopMatters