Band â€â€œ Jogging
Album â€â€œ Minutes
Label â€â€œ Richter Collective
Release date â€â€œ 5th May
Sounds like â€â€œ The sneering hatred projected by Ben Chaplinâ€™s version of Matthew Malone fronting a Fugazi covers band.
Youâ€™ve noticed the pattern here, right? Dublin-based Jogging are yet another healthy edition to the ever bulging roster of bands that belong to the Richter Collective family. Whilst much of the RCâ€™s releases have recently focused on the graduating shifts and subtle crashing builds of experimental post-meets-dance rock and off-kilter electronic-indie noodling; Jogging have more in common with label mates BATS than anyone else.
Jogging sound frustrated and this is a good thing. Frustration as we all know is a sign of irritation and annoyance and coupled with the ability to play an instrument to a respectable standard is potentially the winning formula (to these tinnitus ravaged ears) when creating music that people will actually bother to take notice of, rather than dismiss as landfill. Jogging sound agitated â€â€œ they sound like a fair amount of pent up aggression is bubbling to the surface and the best way to vent this is through their spiky brand of Future Of The Left-style disgust, coupled with a gnarly punk rock edge.
The thing about Jogging is, they fucking rock. ‘Minutesâ€™ is the kind of breathless, exhausting rock album that most sane people will struggle to not air-punch along to. Jogging seem to draw from two direct sources â€â€œ the first being Epitaph-style punk rock, back when the label had a fair amount of credibility and around the time the Punk-O-Rama compilations were of considerable high quality. The melody and determined drive is something that would sit quite nicely with the early work of bands such as Beatsteaks and Hot Water Music. The second falls in the Dischord territory, drawing on the likes of Fugazi, Minor Threat as well as the intensity of bands like Rites of Spring.
Opening track ‘Threadbareâ€™ starts with a jaunty, enthused â€œWhoo!â€Â that dives headfirst into a driving post-punk romp of jerking tempo changes and rasping vocals. Itâ€™s an exceptionally well-crafted tune; whilst the vocals tend to lean on the side of sneering, the lyrics remain uncharacteristically optimistic â€â€œ â€œI raise my glass to my teeth!â€Â (hey, itâ€™s good to think of it has half-full right?) However, bubbling beneath the surface is that uncaring edge of discontented brackishness.
“Everybodyâ€™s laughing at your weaknessâ€Â¦.everybodyâ€™s laughing at your nameâ€Â spits Joggingâ€™s seemingly bitter vocalist, who doesnâ€™t hide the snide feelings he has for the subject matter of ‘Not Simpleâ€™; a track that rattles along with the fevered stabbing rage of ‘Suicide Invoiceâ€™-era Hot Snakes. Itâ€™s clear that Jogging are attempting to drag feelings of animosity from the listener; not to the band, but perhaps to unresolved issues that person may have. ‘Fostered Foesâ€™ is a maniacal rush of math-punk; all stumbling drum patterns and mangled chords falling over each other in some attempt to emulate the strident vitality of At The Drive-In; which it manages with style.
‘Shake Up Shakedownâ€™ writhes like the staggered post-hardcore of These Arms Are Snakes, but by sounding even more severe and cutting in both vocal delivery and the barren guitar tone. The drums adopt a bouncing funk-punk edge complimenting the restless sound made by the bass and guitar excellently. The spitting snarl of ‘Bruises Like Bowtiesâ€™ seems to channel the rage of early Dischord hardcore, mixed with a grinding bass heavy lead and guttural punk rock discrepancy. The delivery of the vocals â€œwith the blood on my hands!â€Â on ‘Cleft Chin, Good Heartâ€™ is done with such despondent sincerity and primal wrath it stirs up the kind of raw emotional pull that harks back to that early 90s late 80s emo, back before it became a dirty word. Two minutes of harrowing, dark punk rock that all 4 members of Fugazi would swear blindly was a lost album track.
‘Lifelineâ€™ overflows with tapping, sporadic guitar tweaks, diving in and out of a frenzy of choppy discordance, before hitting a lumbering stride through a grinding bass-driven body of sound. The dual vocals (one high-pitched, raw and scratching, the other hoarse and weathered) on ‘Heartwoodâ€™ work brilliantly, whilst the persistent and dogged drive of the trackâ€™s unashamedly gruff nature gives a heavy nod towards the brash punk rock style of Dillinger Four. Surprisingly, ‘Curtainsâ€™ is a more light-hearted affair; falling into similar territory as ‘Plenty For Allâ€™ by Hot Snakes â€â€œ anthemic, yet with subdued aggression and more focus on melody and even harmonies (particularly the vocals).
My conclusion? Well, Jogging STILL fucking rock, and if you havenâ€™t got yourself to their bandcamp and parted ways with your euros/pounds yet I want to know why. This is the kind of gritty, no-nonsense punk meets post-hardcore rock that exemplifies just how vitriolic, passionate and energised music can be, a magnificent debut of aggression and aggravation.
By Ross Macdonald