My final review for the band, and it focuses on a track that completes an exciting, and rather unexpected trilogy.
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It’s going to be a more brief, and summated overview…
As I have focused quite tightly on Jingo over the past few weeks. I shall return to their well in a moment, but the nature of today’s paraphrasing, is concerning new bands in general. I have been pleased and quite frankly flattered, by a lot of the response and appreciation bands and artists feel, when having their work reviewed and focuses upon. You can tell that it means a lot that someone has taken the effort to write about a song(s), that they have spent a lot of effort on, and taken a lot of time, to complete. Of course, the flip side to that brings its own issues. Far too many seem to take any effort given to promoting their work, with a casual disregard. To be fair, a lot of that has been from ‘established’ acts- the type that has probably become disingenuous for no real reason; instead determined to play the role of ‘unappreciative artist’. For people like me, whom attribute a lot of concentration towards their music, and give a lot more insight and depth than your average pundit, it is rather galling and offensive. It has brought about a strict domestic policy: once ignored, forever forgotten about. I have expressly vowed to never go after any well-established act or band, as it seems that they have better things to do with their times. With regards to new acts, not all are entirely polite, considerate or worthy; just as recently as yesterday it seems that I perhaps should not have wasted my time focusing upon a particular band. But you know, you live and learn. It is a lesson that is more commonly learnt when dealing with your average person, rather than a musician. Your typical musician, by and large, tends to be a more humble, open-minded and kinder creature; aware that they are in a difficult and unpredictable industry, but one that is simultaneously enthralling and ever-changing. Consequently, as from next week, a more considered and cautious approach will need to be taken, with regards to praising and writing about new music. It is not to much as a chance to ‘get something off of my chest’, more a relevant tableaux, that has a wider and more sociological relevance. Whether it is the weather, the economy, or random event, but the people that you expect a lot from, tend to let you down the hardest. On the flip side, the folks that have less need to be nice, are usually the sweetest and most effusive. Strange moral and conclusion I guess, but based upon observation and keen-sight. Whether there is a subconscious implore to our featured threesome, or a deeper meaner, well… you’ll have to decide for yourself. I have been somewhat impressed by the sheer range and dynamism amongst many new acts, as of late. In an industry where there can be a conservative and bashful need to play it safe, and not show your hand, many new acts have been rebelling and pioneering; risking a possible future reputation and stature to do what they want to do, right from the start. The knock-on effect has been, that it has inspired me to be bolder with my own writing and take chances; in essence it has pushed me not to compromise, but to show boldness.
Jingo came to my attention nary a few weeks ago, and impressed me for a number of reasons. They have managed to capture my appeal, in spite of the fact that they have the least on-line coverage on the social media sites. There seems to be no Twitter account, not a lot of other coverage beyond Facebook and SoundCloud. I hope that alters, as there are many new fans awaiting over on Twitter. They are a different breed as well: less conservative perhaps, and also easier to connect with. No annoying ‘friend requests’ and having to trawl through crappy fan pages and such to find a band; it is a lot easier to connect and find like-minded music, and fans alike. Aside from the singularity of their wallpaper pattern, the group have a focused and filmic approach to their songs. I have previously scripted reports for their tracks ‘1Q84’ and ‘Same Without You’, impressed not only by the range of sounds and lyrics between the two, seemingly disparate tracks, but by the quality of the individual numbers. The group have claimed that their latest song rounds off a trilogy of sorts. Whether the songs will form an E.P. of their own, or are separate entities, ahead of a possible future release, it is uncertain. It is curious that the band have chosen to release their tracks one-by-one, instead of putting out a single 3-track E.P.; maybe it is a long-term strategy, but goes to show that the trio have a confidence that few contemporaries posses; and in a way signals to an act whom intend on having a long and uninterrupted tenure within music; not a mere nebula willing to float, and burn after a short time. In case you are a recent subscriber, or have a short attention span, Jingo is: husband and wife duo Jack and Katie Buckett, and Joseph Reeves. Katie is the sole American of the band, whilst the boys are English. I am unsure whether the future will see them branch out to producing E.P.s and albums; the group at the moment are saplings and letting the world know what they are capable of; contended to sit back and review the feedback.
Down to business, then. You can probably tell from the title, but The Matador, is not going to be a pared-back-romantic-ballad-of-a-song. Where as their previous two songs have invoked the sounds and sensations of the U.S., U.K. and similar allies, on their third release their is an obvious influence from the Spanish-speaking regions of the globe. There is a pleasing- if somewhat expected- rush of Flamenco guitar at the very beginning; it elicits and cements the tone and theme from the initial seconds, and lets you know that there is going to be little irony or misappropriation within the title. The guitar line is swooning and romantic. It has a little bit of a build; as if it were going to peak and punch, but instead, comes back down. With a vocal interjection, that is screamed with Hispanic lust, it is followed by a tinny-sounding drum patter; echoed and metallic. That is overthrown by the return of the guitar line which gifts images of sunny climbs, scorching beaches, tranquility and care-free moods. The drum keeps steady and solid; not deviating or wavering, just keeping a consistent beat. The guitar showers and dances, before the vocal arrives. The vocal from Katie is predictably reliable and solid, proffering scenes of “Silent rituals/Whilst she sleeps”. In terms of vocal comparisons, there is a little bit of the likes of P.J. Harvey, (the rougher edges of) Tori Amos; as well as a distinct flavour of the U.S. There is, perhaps, a restrained air of Adele, too; sounding at times quite similar at times. A little before the 1:00 marker, the mood shifts, ramping slightly up, with a palpable sense of impending explosion. As Katie’s voice rises at 1:14, having told tales of “the man and beast”; the Adele comparisons may not seem too premature; there is a comparable quality when Katie belts and shows emotional power. She can hold the notes, and perhaps, in an odd way, shares more in common with Bjork. The musical backing matches the electricity up front, the apolysis strum hints at another sound shift. Before long there is a duet, with Jack joining in; they sing of the bull hitting the floor, and the chaotic storm of the associated fray, the musical backing gets darker, more intense and punctuated too; matching the lyrical tone perfectly. As soon as the chorus has finished, there is a return to the softer, Flamenco verse. The hero of the song is preparing to do battle once more, as it is said: “He hears the cheers/And begins to wait”. Throughout the track, and during the verses especially, there is plenty of evidence that shows that Jingo can implant vivd and colourful scenes in your mind, and use their words effectively to conjure a myriad of emotions and movement. As the vocal ramps back up again, there is a little electric guitar buzz that has similarities with Jack White; both during his White Stripes tenure, and particularly his solo work. The chorus is unleashed again, portraying images of bloodshed, death and victory.
The nature of the lyrics, at its base, may not be new. The structure and way the story is told, has been done a lot before. The way that this track stands out, is that familiarity is stretched and expanded, in ways that are fresh and new. The subject and theme is unexplored and inventive, the lyrics are sharp and vivid, and the music especially is unpredictable, exciting and variable. It is refreshing and pleasing to hear Spanish sounds in any song, let alone employed by a popular band. I have gone back and listened to parts 1 and 2 of the trilogy, and unsure which of the three I prefer. I think 1Q84 has a slight edge, but is impressive and inspiring to hear of a brand new act, whom are unwilling to stand still, and stick with a singular sound. They have variety, a sense of innovation and style that is very rare these days. So, as I sign off my final review for them, and look elsewhere for similarly amazing sounds.
I think they will do just fine in the future..