Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review: Jogging - Minutes

Jogging are a power-punk trio. Their debut album 'Minutes' is released through the Richter Collective whose other acts include Adebis Skank, Enemies and Bats.

Jogging reel in dark shadowy images of modern life and cast back scathing social commentary with sharp venomous tongues. The music mirrors this world view. it's fast, frantic, cascading rage, sometimes unhinged but almost always on target.

Opening track Threadbare has a dirty melodic swagger to it. This up tempo drink-to-forget song is a live highlight and features some excellent distorted bass playing by bassist/singer Ronan Jackson. The track cascades to a close with the repeated melody hook of "I can see through you, we will see this through."

A sunkist guitar riff by guitarist/vocalist Darren Craig eases us into Not Simple. A bruising stampede of One Hand Scissor style rock. A reap what you sow tale of jealousy "You made your bed now lie in it. Even if it’s made of old napkins." While the chorus recoils "Everybody's laughing at your weakness, Everybody's laughing at your name." Once again the bass is excellent weaving around the top notch Robert Frippesque guitar solo.

Fostered Foes is frenetic half hepped up Psychobilly instrumental meets Frank Zappa half QOTSA firestorm. It contains the well known but seldom spoken fact that "Cream and bastards rise to top, the rest just gathers down here with the slop." However the delivery of the word "land" is definetly one of the albums low points.

Shattered Knees on the otherhand is one of the album's highlights containing some classy, funky, punk, guitar riffs "It’s two long then two short for too long" is a fine melodic moment. The interplay between the guitar and bass is excellent. Each keenly deploys its own dancing melody before racing the other to the finish line.

The held-back-scream, spoken word delivery of Shape Up Shakedown adds weight to the broken home scenario. Where "Worthless parents couldn’t care for, the welfare of their heirs." While "Bullies carry broken homes. Youth abandoned, youth unknown." Just like a HSE care home? Perhaps theres even a salute to those who have escaped to the streets "You can say, but you don’t know. When you fore-go the umbrella, there’s a certain drenched dignity."

A stadium rock guitar intro, propels Bruises Like Bow-Ties through the verses. The vocals begin with an astute put down "You blew me away, but not in that good way". Before comic self loathing "If I went to punch a window just to prove a point it’d punch back until my eyes crack." descends into self indulgent screamo. A sad outcome from such promising beginnings.

Thankfully normal service is returned on anger biscuit Cleft Chin, Good Heart. Built around two pulsating guitar blasts. Initial lyric "It’s not love, but it’s affection" acts as a decoy before the groove explodes into anger and remorse "I've got blood on my hands."

If you can get past the decidedly teenage, amateur, bedroom squeakiness of the opening barrage of Lifeline you will find a companion piece for Shape Up Shakedown with more prominent bass licks and spoken word cataclysms. While Judas Priest meets post punk Arboriculture on Heartwood. Minutes closes with the aptly titled Curtains a melodic slice of Dinosaur Jr. style Americana.

Jogging nearly have a four star album on their hands. But they have overstretched themselves in places, cramming to many musical ideas in to songs. The drum sound fails to deliver the bombast that the songs require. A failure on the part of the producer no doubt, rather than drummer Paul Lee who obviously displays the ability to meet the challenges of this genre of music. Minutes however, is worth the download fee alone for standout tracks Threadbare & Shattered Knees and we don't believe you'll find a better punk trio around.

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