2009 Album Review :: Philadelphia Grand Jury ‘Hope is for Hopers’

August 25th 2013

On August 29, FBi hits double digits. To celebrate, the Flog is taking a trip down memory lane: we’re counting down 10 years of albums in 10 days. In 2009, Jayne Cheeseman was a little bit of a fangirl…

In my 20s, I have come to self diagnose my teenage-self as a sufferer of FOMO. That is, the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ in the form of scrounging for and consuming (probably unhealthy amounts of) new and old music.

One could argue this is still an issue with my 20-something self, though sadly not always to the same detailed extent. My teen music consumption years were all about saving up for that CD to go home and play on repeat until all the lyrics were learnt, every detail of the cover art and innards consumed, and every emotion ‘felt’, as though standing in the shoes of the lyricist.

Throughout high school, study nights turned into RAGE marathons; my pen and paper writing down the name of every song I thought I should probably (definitely) consume at least once more. My undeniable love for Sydney bands (Dappled Cities Fly, The Cops, Cloud Control) is what lead me to FBi Radio in the first place, but RAGE also introduced me to Philadelphia Grand Jury.

Ah, the Philly Jays.

It wasn’t just the ‘Where’s Wally?’ style film clip that made me fall in love with ‘The Good News’. Being a fan of searching for illustrated men in red and white striped skivvies and beanies certainly had some input. But the repetitive two chords of the keyboard, unique vocals of Berkfinger and lyrics created such an earworm that even my dad couldn’t boil the kettle without singing, “I could be standing on the shadow of your ghost.”

In true teenage FOMO style, I bought the CD. Instantly, Berkfinger, MC Bad Genius and Dan W Sweat had captured my soul. I was soul-ed.

The first belting wail of ‘Going To The Casino (Tomorrow Night)’ still gives me chills and a little too much excitement. Despite the song being about losing all your money and friends and having nobody to love/love you, the song doesn’t lose its ability to create a sea of chants at any party. Surprisingly, neither does the song ‘I Don’t Want To Party (Party)’ – an instant party hit, despite all lyrical odds.

I once touched the beard of MC Bad Genius. More like MC Beard Genius, am I right?

Whilst I no longer go around clutching the beards of strange, talented men (can you see the terror in his eyes?) I’m certain my obsessive teen music consumption has paid off.

It is a shame to have lost one of Sydney’s most wild and energetic live acts to the depths of 2011, but the songs, lyrics and album art of Hope is For Hopers are probably lodged in my long-term memory forever.

…Is it too early/creepy to start a Philly Jays cover band?

All 2009 Albums of the Week


2008 Album Review :: Mercy Arms ‘Mercy Arms’

2007 Album Review :: Midnight Juggernauts ‘Dystopia’

2006 Album Review :: Department Of Eagles ‘The Cold Nose’

2005 Album Review :: Hermitude ‘Tales Of The Drift’

2004 Album Review :: Sarah Blasko ‘The Overture and the Underscore’

2003 Album Review :: The Presets ‘Blow Up’




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