Album Review: Jingo- The Art of Loving

ALBUM REVIEW:

Jingo

The Art of Loving

9.7/10.0

The Art of Loving is available from 1st September. Pre-order the album at:

https://jingomusic.bandcamp.com/

TRACKLISTING:
Black Flowers9.6/10
Sky Punch9.7
When You Want Me9.7
Belong To You9.6
The Art of Loving9.7
Home9.5
Blue Wail9.6
Before You Were Born9.6
Jacyln9.9
Same Without You9.8
IQ849.5
Don’t Call It Love9.8

STANDOUT CUT:
Jacyln

DOWNLOAD:
When You Want Me, The Art of Loving, Jacyln, Same Without You, Don’t Call It Love

RELEASED:
1st September, 2014

ALL SONGS WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY:
Jack Buckett, Katie Buckett , Joe Reeves and Chris Smith

ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENTATION AND VIBES:
Sahil ‘Saladin Hacksaw’ Batra

RECORDED AT:
Strongroom Studios and Snowman Studios, London UK

MIXED BY:
Jingo and Ganesh Singaram

MASTERED AT:
Soup Studios

ARTWORK BY:
Katie Buckett

GENRES:
Alternative-Rock
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Having reviewed Jingo on several occasions, I was excited to hear what The Art of Loving would offer. Fascinating stories, heady vocals and insatiable compositions hypnotise with ease. With such a huge amount of range, wonder and genre-splicing; the incredible quartet have unveiled one of 2014’s finest albums- few can deny its incredible spell

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AS I arrive at my final trio of reviews…

(before becoming a functional member of society), it is with a slightly heavy heart. It is great to discover new bands and promote terrific work- experience something first-hand (that few others will). While I ponder the future and the balance of work, I return to survey a band that have been with me since the start- one of the first bands I reviewed (all those long months ago). Having assessed a few of the group’s singles, it is terrific to see the arrival of their debut L.P.- a dozen tracks that showcases the full range and potential of Jingo. I shall dive into them in a second, but (they have reminded me) of a point: unexpectedness in music. It was only a few days ago I was expounded the virtues of Go Wolf- a Belfast trio who inject female and male vocals inside their myriad threads of electronic gold. Having tied them with Fleetwood Mac- another band are in front of me- that have spooky embers of the U.S./U.K. greats. I mention the legendary group, because I am falling in love with their music- especially the genius of Rumours. After hearing some plastic and facile ‘singer’ murder Don’t Stop– for some ungodly and horrible advert- it is sad that people (discover certain bands) through advertising- I despise all commercials and find them nauseating and horrendous. In addition to it being commercial and sell-out (flogging tunes to advertising companies is something even Queens of the Stone Age have reverted to), the young should be discovering music the honest way- connecting with people and going to their local record store. Spinning the likes of Rumours (on vinyl) redefines the perfections and seduction music can offer. Jingo has American and British leads- a husband-and-wife duo that incorporate essences of the legendary ‘Mac. Their music is as diverse and authoritative for sure- they mix genres and styles to create songs of the highest order. In modern music, you are not shocked that often- pleased to find an act or band that you do not expect. Aside from the same old male-only quartets and twee Folk singers, how many acts come along- those that stand out from the crowd? In 2014, it is still rare to find bands that mix male and female performers- fewer than 10% of all acts contain both genders. Not being a statistician of music, maybe that figure is a little artless- regardless, few acts mingle different genders and nationality. Like genetics, music is at its strongest and most vivid when you incorporate diversity and difference. Being in the process of recruiting four members for my band- they don’t know it yet- I hope to draw in a northern lass, Portuguese chap- one American and a guitarist. A jinx-filled caper and bit of persuasion will be in order, but my point is this: not only are the personalities and talents phenomenal; it will (not be a band) that is homogenised and predictable. My jingoism towards diversification is well-founded- so few acts take the trouble to ensure their ranks are distinct and stand-out. When you have different personalities and perspectives coming together- the music becomes richer and more full. No matter how good a male or female singer is- when leading a band- the sounds are undeniably fuller and more intriguing (when adding in the opposite sex)- a different accent and point of view. Bands like Fleetwood Mac and The Magic Numbers compel because of these mixtures- it enforces their creativity and opportunities. Although albums like Rumours occurred among turmoil and hell-fire relationship break-ups, it should not act as a warning sign- bands who contain lovers and spouses are not going to (necessarily) break up and squabble. Katie and Jack Buckett combine their transatlantic genetics together and bond it around their unified and rock-solid relationship- the intuition and sympatico goes into their startling music. Were Jingo and all-male band, they would not sound as passionate, beautiful and scintillating- it is Katie’s distinct voice that adds so much richness and multitudinous. Having inflamed and amazed reviewers- including me- with their stunning and assured music, the quartet have worked their socks off. Their L.P. The Art of Loving has a cover that defines their sound- a sense of angst and force; strange and odd beauty; plenty of vivid and unforgettable scenes- things you will not easily ignore. With critics comparing the band to the likes of Portishead, The Kills and The Magic Numbers; it is clear the four-piece have a tremendous name- a natural quality and excellence that makes these comparisons just and fair. Before I raise another point, let me introduce Jingo to you:

KATIE BUCKETT – VOCALS/KEYS
JACK BUCKETT – GUITARS/ BACKING VOCALS
JOSEPH REEVES – DRUMS
SAHIL BATRA – BASS/KEYS/BACKING VOCALS

JINGO IS A DYNAMIC AND CURIOUS FOUR-PIECE AFFAIR. THEY ARE, CONSEQUENTLY, JACK BUCKETT, HIS WIFE, KATIE, JOSEPH REEVES AND LATEST ADDITION, SAHIL BATRA DISCOVERED FROM THEIR OWN WAREHOUSE OPEN MIC NIGHT. THE FOUR HAVE BEEN MAKING MUSIC WITH OTHER BANDS IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK AND LONDON FOR A FAIR FEW YEARS BUT HAVE NOW EMBARKED UPON A SHARED VENTURE AND HAVE A LOYAL AND DEVOUT GROUP OF CO-PATRIOTS IN THE UK AND US. SUPPORTING GRAHAM COXON OF BLUR AS THEIR FIRST GIG IN MARCH 2013, THEY WERE OUT OF THE BLOCKS AND RUNNING. SINCE THEN THEY HAVE BEEN KEEPING BUSY IN THE STUDIO, WHILST TOURING ACROSS THE COUNTRY RECIEVING WIDESPREAD ATTENTION FROM ONLINE BLOGGERS (INCLUDING A FEATURE IN FHM). IN NOVEMBER THEY WON THE MADE IN SHOREDITCH MUSIC FACTORY COMPETITION ALONG WITH 2 DAYS RECORDING AT THE LEGENDARY STRONGROOM STUDIOS. JINGO IS A UNIQUE GENETIC COMPOSITE, AND ONE THAT HAS NOT BEEN SEEN TOO OFTEN ON THE MUSIC SCENE. WE HAD A SIMILAR NATIONALITY CR OSS-BREEDING WITH FLEETWOOD MAC, THE MAGIC NUMBERS, AND A FEW OTHER ACTS, BUT THEY ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. THEY ARE SET TO RELEASE THEIR DEBUT ALBUM IN SUMMER 2014.”

Jingo is among a small number of new acts that have their eyes and ears on all avenues of the Internet- their music is available on various sites. In addition to possessing an authoritative and detailed official site, the band make sure that few faces can ignore their sounds. Whilst lead Katie Buckett is a skilled artist, you can see her work on a lot of the band’s covers- including their album. Her incredible artistic talents have had an effect on their music videos- each are stunningly eye-catching and wonderfully conceived. From Same Without You‘s animated capers to Belong To You‘s black-and-white live jam, the group excel in multiple arenas- they do not solely focus on their sound. Taking the trouble to consider their videos and website is something few artists do- you know just how much music means to Jingo. Dedicated to it and gripped by its awe, the quartet funnel that energy and passion into their music- hardly shocking it received such universal acclaim. Hard-hitting, festival-winning and atmospheric, the London band marry the rawness and vitality of Brooklyn with the artiness and diversity of East London- drawing their separate experiences into multifarious and layered music. The Art of Loving has been a while in the making; up until now, the band has been producing a series of singles- tempting the listener into their world; presenting different sides to them. Having set the scene and come onto the stage, the band are preparing the release of their 12-track L.P.- a record that will get many critics excited and awe-struck. In the way that no two snowflakes and fingerprints- or Justin Bieber felonies- are the same; the U.S./U.K. coalition ensures no two Jingo tunes sound alike- they retain their identity but never come across as predictable. I adore bands and what they offer, but feel there are a few too many- sounds odd, but the quality level is not exactly sky-high. Were all the bands brilliant and original then we would welcome newcomers forth- the fact that they are so hit-and-miss leads to trepidation and caution. As we speak, there are mutilated waves of below-average bands; the sort that have little regard for standing out and galvanising their music- so many acts are spat out and forgotten. Craft and honing is as important as originality and potency- to Jingo- who go to great lengths to infuse so much life, urgency and colour into their music. Providing a welcome relief- from the quagmire of beige Indie groups- I have high hopes for the quartet. With their unequivocal and fastidious work ethic, they are not going to slow any time soon- they have plenty of songs and albums in them. The incredible friendships- and love they have for one another- should not be ignored; they will not implode and explode like Fleetwood Mac- that is not to say they cannot aim that high. With the early signs being incredibly positive and prosperous, who knows what 2015 holds for them? Their mesmerising and eargasmic (sic.) album is a compulsive purchase- something everyone should snap up. Before I get down to assessing each (of the 12) numbers, it is worth taking a look at the band’s previous work.

It is hard to compare Jingo’s sound directly to too many others- the band are one of the most unusual and striking I have ever heard. The only way one can compare Jingo with another, is when looking at their cross-pollination and band formation. Having an American heroine and British hero; distinct and startling singers; incredibly mobile and multiplicitous performers- their style and sensations can be tied to other acts. A band that have meant a lot to Jingo- and I am familiar with- are Not Blood Paint. Whilst the two bands share little musical D.N.A.- in terms of their identities- they do have some similarities. The Brooklyn-based rockers are near-neighbours of Katie Buckett- a band that she probably is very familiar with. Not Blood Paint have released a series of records- Calm Down is probably their finest hour. The 26-minute opus packed more oomph, wallop and weight- than any other record of 2013. Stripped-down arrangements and emotional nakedness sat with rushing and fever-dream panache- the band performances and progressive tendencies made the E.P. such a triumph. Squelches, tribal climbs and repeated codas- sat within the E.P.- and made songs stick in the mind- turned them into addictive and potent beasts. The band’s ideologies investigate conspiracies and stranger elements; they have a rare voice and songbook. Jingo has similarly evocative and striking song themes; they are as accessible and immediate- the other thing (the two bands share) is the gorgeous vocals and stunning compositions. On some songs- from Not Blood Paint- masochistic and vengeful lines sit within beautiful and tender compositions. As early as 2010, critics in the U.S. have been gripped by their music. The Brooklyn band differ from their borough-mates: their love songs come through in obtuse and feral angles- they are nontraditional and dark. Filled with staggering imagery and plenty of bite, the boys have established their reputation- they are one of New York’s most urgent and memorable acts. Jingo has a similar unexpected and oblique set of lyrics; they look at love and relationships (but subvert expectations)- their special and original slant makes the songs so much more fascinating and gripping. Bird Courage are an act that have influenced Jingo. Presenting music that treads along the lines of Folk and Experimental, the Brooklyn boys are masters of soft and gripping acoustic notes; the songs across their records have left-turns and gloriously unexpected moments. Huge vocal harmonies can be found with rippling guitars- in the middle of a calm and revered Folk song. Although the band are still finding their true sound- and haven’t unleashed their masterpiece yet- they possess plenty of quality and inspirational mandates. Their aching and alluring harmonies; delicate and impassioned Folk moments beautifully blend with heady emotions. Before I mention a quintet (of other acts) I will bring in my musical idol- Jeff Buckley. Having only produced one album- the masterpiece that is Grace– I can see some parallels with Jingo’s most wondrous and tender moments. The vocals and voice is something Buckley was synonymous with- able to pair his divine pipes with sensational and scenic love stories. The sadly-departed Californian mesmerised critics back in 1994- Grace is one of the greatest debut albums ever created. The audacity and lack of humbleness (that went into Grace) meant that there was bombastic ambition and startling confidence- the young master knew exactly what he was doing. Being a devotee of Buckley, I know how much of a perfectionist he was- never happy unless a song was as good as it could be. The grasp Buckley showed- across his career- was startling and phenomenal- able to mingle the soaring and mournful within the space of a song. A divine and heavenly voice- had Buckley- this rich and inspirational sound made his music so compelling and urgent- Jingo share strands of Buckley’s genius. Their reach is no less staggering and ambitious; their vocal harmonies and turns scintillating and gripping- the range of motions and sounds quite extraordinary. Whereas Buckley was synonymous more for his voice, he remains a truly underrated songwriter. Not just devoted to love and longing, his songs mingled byzantine and oblique dreamscapes with cinematic scenes and funeral parades- he was inspired by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Jingo has a Buckley-esque packed songbook; those incredible and distinct vocals- tirelessly graceful codas. Interpol are a band that have made impressions on Jingo. If I were to compare The Art of Loving– to any Interpol album- it would be their self-titled mid-career gem. Critics noted how gripping Paul Banks’s vocals were; the dark shades were underpinned with plenty of light- subtle textures came through across the L.P. Their sense of story and atmosphere was evident- on Interpol– the rich narratives and brilliantly paced tracks made the album epic, melancholic and redemptive. Deeper ideals were on Interpol’s mind; their intricacies, orchestrations and nuance stood them in critical regard- many noted the atmospheric darkness gave it a spine-tingling layer. Submerged and deep moments were as a result of abstract and complex inputs- the band found new wrinkles in their well-defined sound. Jingo does so likewise: they uncover new glories and sounds within their defined and solid foundations. They exchange darkened and moodier shadows with elliptical and positive rushes- they have the potential to reach Interpol’s heights. On Interpol, the band shored up their weaknesses and united players; their muscular attacks were as a result of tight and focused performances. Mixing minor and major notes with tempestuous mood shifts- love songs ranged from honest and pure to attacking and pained- the band could achieve anything. Jingo has a similarly vast amount of possibilities and commendations- it will be exciting to see how this flourishes on future releases. When thinking of Katie Buckett’s vocals- in addition to the atmospheric and cinematic compositions- Portishead come to mind. Perhaps their Third album is the most apt comparison piece- an album that showed a fierce and incredible amount of attack. With Beth Gibbons’ voice at its most urgent and gripping, the album was a huge triumph. Endlessly absorbing and riveting performances backed her startling voice- which had grown into something unbeatable and unmatched. If we take vocal comparisons out of the equations, just think of Portishead’s hallmarks: looped rhythms and dark corners; vintage elements and spellbinding songs. Third required effort from the listener: the cold and stark uniqueness bloomed into something magisterial and epic. The tenet that defined Third was the originality and jarring juxtapositions: a ukulele-led snippet stuffed between two hell-fire assaults was one such surprise. The tonal shifts and experimental untidiness resulted in a phenomenal album; absorbing and fascinating with every listen. Perfectionist tendencies resulted in music that was not processed and canned- instead free and natural. Jingo marries all of this into their work: the styles and compartmentalisations; the quality assault and sensational consistency- the juxtaposed moods and art works. When Katie Buckett lets her voice haunt and cool, you catch hints of Gibbons at her most entrancing- our heroine is just as capable at gripping the soul and portraying darkness (in addition to love and hopefulness). Before I conclude with a duo of bands, I shall mention Bad for Lazarus– a group that have had bearing on Jingo. Although the band is a combination of Heavy-Metal gods and ’60s East Coast Garage elements, some of its flair has transitioned into Jingo’s mandates. The 25 E.P. saw psychobilly and dark humour pair with macabre themes. The incredible playing mixed some of Matchbox B-Line Disaster with Red Hot Chili Peppers; double-tracked vocals and insatiable rushes. The E.P. also harked back at the past; looked at vintage and traditional recording techniques- before digitalisation. Tight and clinical, the production allowed the vocals to sound characterful and unconfined. The legendary band upped the innovation on Burnt! Vibrating and spontaneous energy lingered in attacking and innovative assaults; slow strung-out burners nestled with ragged and jagged loose cuts- ‘beautiful’ and ‘challenging’ are words that can be applied to the record. The Brighton band continue to amaze and impress- on Burnt! they dispensed with guitars to rustle up explosions sans electric strings. Jingo does not share the same feral and maniacal vocals, yet there are similar components- their innovativeness and expectation-subversion are among them. Before I end with a British influence, I will mention one of my favourite bands- Fleetwood Mac. When trying to compare a Fleetwood’ album (with Jingo’s work), I plump for two: Rumours and Tusk. The 1977-1979 regency saw Fleetwood Mac craft two of their most spectacular and timeless works. The former is defined by its moral ambiguity; that sensational consistency- the sheer thrill-ride that lasted from start to finish. The songs jumped out of the speakers; the insistency and consistency meant eccentricity and stunning honest seemed elemental and unforced- it was an album that defied the odds. The raw emotional power of each note made (Rumours) a blockbuster- the contradistinctions between anguished and passionate defined the album. A cut-diamond a tsunami of angel kisses, the album remains a sonic god- something few bands have matched. The permissive and unspooled hedonism put Fleetwood Mac at rarefied heights- inspiring waves of young and eager bands. Jingo unites that sense of ambition and concision; their songs range from radio-friendly nuggets to harmony-laden shivers- there is darkness and pained confessions. Although Fleetwood’ started as a psychadelised Blues-Rock band, they developed their sound- hitting their peak here. The U.S./U.K. combinations find equals with Jingo; although far less fractured and spoiling- the two bands share some unique distinctions. The Bucketts match the vocal qualities of Rumours. Stevie Nicks was at her husky and impassioned best; Chrissie McVie introspective and tender (with her offerings). Katie Buckett has that sexy husk and gorgeous stillness- the embodiment and spiritual incarnation of the Fleetwood Mac heroines. Jack has some of Lyndsey Buckingham’s Garage-Rock drive and riveting tones. Tusk was a sprawling and messy masterpiece: by the time the album came out, the band were shattered and broken. Ethereal moments and twisted immersions could be found; band-driven paranoia and bracingly weird moments did not impress critics (upon its release)- it has aged into a genuinely fascinating work. Jingo match that eclectic and scattershot approach; keep everything solid and uniform- throw a lot of Tusk‘s diversity and wild range. The last band I want to include are The Magic Numbers. Their latest album- Alias– sees bittersweet ruminations spar alongside gorgeous harmonies and swells- it is their finest disc to date. Tragic strains and plaintive vocals score heart-breaking tableaus. It is the mix of their traditional blissfulness and newly-found Rock rawness that makes Alias such a delight. Majestic and shimmering melodies- Roy Orbison particularly- are topped only by the consistently brilliant Rock moments- when the band are plugged in they are switched on. Adventurouness and direction is going to see the band accrue legions of new fans. Jingo mix the same contrasts and styles; their harmonies and vocals are as emotive and stunning- they have a greater quality control and sense of authority. What they share with The Magic Numbers is that spellbinding vocal force and terrific range of sounds. Jingo is very much their own force and only incorporate the most subtle hint of other bands- take them on their own word. That combination of Fleetwood Mac and Not Blood Paint is unexpected- the fact the band have such a love for all sorts of genres results in their phenomenal sounds. Unencumbered and transcendent, the quartet have shades of ’70s masters; the urgency of U.S. Rock bands- I am hard-pressed to compare them directly with anyone. This individuality and distinction is defined within The Art of Loving. With so many bands being rudderless and predictable, Jingo are entrepreneurs of a very prosperous business ideal.

When looking back at Jingo’s past work, you can see the developments. The majority of the band’s previous offerings see their way onto their album- a collection that bonds all of their music together. The earlier cuts like Black Flowers differ from more recent examples like Sky Punch– there is difference and diversity. While tracks like IQ84 and Same Without You are copacetic and exquisite- they established and cemented the band’s reputation and quality. I am fascinating by cuts like Jaclyn and Blue Wail– tracks I have not encountered before. Having set the bar pretty high on their first releases, it would be unfair to say there has been a big leap- it would suggest that there is inconsistency and weaker (album tracks). The quality is as high now as it ever was; that distinct and unmistakable sound is very much theirs- the only thing that has changed is the songs’ themes. New ideas and considerations have come into effect- perhaps the focus and determination has been upped slightly. What I do notice- from the most recent recordings- is a sense of unity and focus- it has grown and augmented. Songs like IQ84 remains (one of my recent favourites) and I was worried- when reviewing the track- whether the band could equal and top it. Unflappable and headstrong, the quartet do not try to top themselves and reinvent the wheel- they have a natural mobility and range; it means every new idea they proffer is as excellent and shining (as the one that came before). I would advise everyone to listen to the songs on YouTube and SoundCloud– hear the developments and change of sounds. The best judgement and starting-point is The Art of Loving– the melting pot where all of their stunning songs bubble. What I found- from listening to the album- is the seamlessness and uniformity. When bands put various tracks together- some from way back; mingled with new nuggets- you can sense some loose edges and rough edges. The album does not always come together as strongly and focused as it should. It is amazing how the dozen numbers (on The Art of Loving) come together. Because of Jingo’s expansive palette and wonderful songwriting, they manage to make each cut seem both equal and related, but distant and unique. Such a variation of sounds and performances makes their L.P. such a deep and layered treat- one that should be heard time and time again. The true test will be seeing how Jingo’s second wave of songs stack up- whether there will be transitions and mutations or a continuation of their current ideals. I suspect the quartet will not radicalise and transmogrify their sound too much; add too many new components in- they will keep it pretty true and loyal. What Jingo offer is consistent quality and variation; it means whatever comes next is likely to rank alongside The Art of Loving‘s best cuts. Whether the band have already formulated some potential singles or tasters- or are going to take brief recess between recordings- I am not sure- the next year is going to see more music from them, for sure.

Black Flowers does not exactly begin with acquiescence. After a brief grumbling and fuzzy guitar line, the vocal comes fully into effect- our heroine is on the mic. With her voice firm and insistent, shadowy words are elicited. Human beings- when they die- turn into “black ribbons“- the scenes are set and the atmosphere becomes tense and nervy. In spite of everything that is happened- earth being dug up etc.- black flowers keep pushing up and pressing. Our heroine’s voice is gripping and urgent as she lets her words come forth. Although the flowers are pushing up and trying to grow, (she is happy) pushing them back down. An insatiable and feverish compositional rush unfolds; the mood swells and the sense of fascination grows. You wonder what the flowers are a metaphor for; with my mind cast around purity; the clash of good and bad- possibly awfulness and pain will overrule and defeat good. Whatever you try to do- whether it is chasing a dream- it will always be forced down and quelled. Backed by the hero, the vocals unite and pervade; the heroine is happy to push black flowers down- rebel against these forces and not let them get to her. The composition is sparse but effective; mixing striking and attacking strings with impassioned and driving percussion- the song’s constant sense of fascination never lets up. Wordless chorusing and scintillating vocal passion augments and defines the words- brings the images directly to life. With such a unique sound and original intent, it is hard to categorise the song into genres. There is a great mix of Pop-Rock and Indie lightness in places; darker and more brooding swathes in other areas. That incredibly direct and gripping central vocal is matched by some fascinating compositional changes and inclusions. Percussion notes mutate and develop; joining with bass and guitar swerves (and emotional curve balls) are thrown in- towards the two-thirds mark an intricate and unexpected sea change occurs that kicks the song towards its finale. That endless determination rules; the need to push black forces (and flowers) back down- you get sucked up in the ideology and mandate. Delivered with bellicose potency, you are helpless to resist the force and charm- by the final moments you find yourself singing along and on our heroine’s side. After such an impressive opening salvo, Sky Punch arrives. Having been premiered on Facebook (and social media) it is another brand-new and unheard-of Jingo track. Soft and romantic piano notes beckon the track forth; elegant and spiraling; flowing and firm- it is a stunningly suave and svelte early life. Space-age and razor-wire guitars add cosmic glisten and lust to proceedings; perfectly bonding with piano (and percussion)- a stunning sound is elicited. The words and lines are delivered with more restraint and passion here- than on Black Flowers– our heroine displaying her sweeter and more elliptical range. If she wants to see the brightest star, then (her) telescope is pointed at “the darkest sky.” Darkness and blackness is presented once more; here there is a more refined and mellifluous edge- a breeziness and soulfulness. Sky Punch “is no robot” (“Must I remind you?” asks the heroine) as the song notches up a gear- the central figure seems evocative and fascinating. As the words are teased and tempted, strains of Portishead, Pixies and Adele are married in: the vocal has that powerful and semi-operatic quality; the composition fuses ’80s Indie/Grunge (with stranger and contorted electronics). “Answers make questions” is a coda that is repeated and re-introduced; functionality and robotics are themes that come to play- Sky Punch is not a machine or Autobot. As your mind thinks the song is settled in its groove and sound, it suddenly shifts and explodes. The vocal is more direct and insistent; the strings and percussion grumble and quicken- the composition rushes and patters. Subverting expectations, the listener is sucked into an impassioned and wracked plea- our heroine seems more pained and anxious. When her man- the unnamed subject- says “it is inappropriate” when (she) is the person she wants to be- you feel that entrapped and fought-against soul rebel and shout out. The bragging man is causing annoyance and inflamed outpouring- the song keeps growing in intensity. As the chorus expands and volumises, our heroine’s voice grows more powerful and emphatic- Sky Punch is leaving and that tangible sense of pain and loss is evident. By the final stages, buzzing and haunting electronics crackle and pervade- reminding me slightly of the end to The Libertines’ Road to Ruin. Completing a biblically proportioned 1-2, the listener’s heart and mind is overcome and overwhelmed. When You Want Me starts with eerie and malevolent strains. The ghostly and elongated strings are haunting and demented- a sense of danger and unexpectedness lurks. That singular thread is weaved with additional etherealness; a burbled and wobbling vocal (singing the song’s title) mixes with stately and urgent piano- the witches’ brew concoction is one of the most startling on the album. Swaggering and howling guitars- a little of Queens of the Stone Age’s Desert-Rock magic can be detected- comes to play; the song grows more psychotropic and insatiable. Our leads combine on vocal duties during this number. Initially, our heroine’s voice is a low-down and distorted line; it grips and shakes the soul. When uniting with our hero, it is sharper and more emphatic- our heroine wants to be taken out and see the world. Perhaps feeling left out and excluded, you feel that yearning and sense of relegation. Spinning and stuttering guitar tumbles have a flair of The Dead Weather and The Kills; combined with the incredible vocal passion and you are hooked in- wondering whether that rare and bizarre introduction will come into effect. Upbeat and emphatic performances give the song a huge energy and catchiness. The guitars become delirious and snaking; the keys and bass drive and push the song forward- the percussion is the sound of the heartbeat growing ever more racing. The chorus does indeed come back in- that stunningly unique presentation is back for a bit- before our heroine comes returns. Cocky and strutting, the projection is filled with spit, determination and fire-power. She is pointing the finger (at her man)- someone who will “never be happy.” That strife and romantic imbalance leads to a staggeringly assured and standout track- one that wins you over with its twists and turns. The vocals are reliably powerful and stunning- especially with Katie Buckett- whereas the bonding (between the leads) is phenomenally emotive and spine-tingling. That genre-hopping composition keeps the track mobile and unpredictable- the lingering elements of The Kills and The Dead Weather add gravitas and grit into proceedings. The final notes are grumbling, concrete and slinking. Shaking hips and casting aspersions, we reach the climax- a breathless number that says all it needs to say. Following a diverse and varied trio of songs, Belong To You is up next. Pattered and Trip-Hop percussion skiffle gives the intro. an edgy and evocative start; that sound grows with a guitars, bass, percussion (and electronics)- the introduction turns into an Indie-Rock-cum-Alternative symphony. Bombastic and confident, the vocal matches the mood and sound. Our heroine wants to scream and shout out; she knows (she will) “always belong to you.” If she had a thorn between her teeth, she could say this is me- that “wouldn’t be true.” When the chorus comes in- and the twin vocals unite- there is a sense of upbeat and redemption. Possessing one of the most impassioned and striking vocal performances- from both leads- the song wins you over for a number of reasons. The lyrics are gripping and emotive; the composition tumbles and mutates- shades of Garage, Indie and Psychedelia combine to give the song a restless energy. Our heroine’s voice shifts from rapturous and phenomenally powerful- during the chorus- to more delicate and soft in the verses. The band present one of their fullest and most interesting compositions. Cosmic and intergalactic guitar notes sit with pummeling and rifled percussion; populist and redemptive parables proceed spoiling and whirling dervish rushes- the pace and sound matches the interchangeable and flexible nature of the vocal. Crackling and bonfire riffs lead to issues of life and death- the former is a white blanket; the latter black. You wonder whether our heroine is truly contented and assured; I guess in spite of everything she has that relationship and bond- even if there are doubts and niggles on her mind. The album’s title track catches you with its embryonic vocal- it comes straight in and is seductive and captivating. Backed by finger-clicks and a spacey sound, the track is a short mandate- it comes in at 55 seconds. In the way Portishead- on Third– put the beautiful and short (1:31) track Deep Water between two stunning behemoths- here Jingo pull off the same trick. Allowing a chance for reflection; a new direction and a unique punctuation- it is a phenomenal and impressive move. The art of loving with your heart “is not as hard as you thought.” That idea is repeated as a universal truth- the words get into your brain and stay there. With very little backing sound- except for when our heroine presents a second vocal line- it is an echoed and sparse scene- allowing the meaning and beauty of the song to fully take a hold. Spectral and gripping in its minimalism, the vocal dueling is hypnotic- there is nothing complicated about love; loving with your heart is not that hard. Home is a common song- and album title- done by a multitude of bands. Unlike the wave of contemporaries, Jingo open their Home up with distinct and trademark intrigue. Pitter-patter and urgent percussion mixes with imploring and yearning guitar strings- the two combine to kick up quite a catchy and heady sound. Home– it is a safe and reliable place- that is central to the story. Casting her thoughts outwards- to her love- the song’s hero cannot “have it all“- his friends laugh and whisper; he is needed back home. Speaking to her sweetheart, he is wanted to quench her soul; make music for (her) “and my bed.” Stating “anything’s better than what you said” there is a sense of mystery and curiosity. Wondering what the background is, you can hear the urgency in our heroine’s vocal- taking her pipes to Bjork-esque levels of intensity and amaze. Backed by spaced-out and mixed emotion electronics, that struggle and conflict keeps coming through- the need to mend fences and return to a former state. Able to provide what (the hero) needs; be there and loyal- everything is made elemental by that phenomenal central vocal. Rapturous and overcome; calmed and measured- it is one of the finest performances on the album. Gripped by that mesmeric and variegated vocal assault, there seems to be some regret coming through. Leaving the listener to extrapolate their own version of events- and back-story- the layered mystique and interpretations add weight and potency to the track. Funky and stuttering strings open up Blue Wail. Our heroine wants to “swim in the wind“; her soul freed and unshackled- that light and graceful flow opens up the track. The heart of a blue wail (sic.) is heavy and burdensome; that sense of fatigue and emotional drain takes it out of you- it is the largest animal in the ocean (of emotion). The clever wordplay and fascinating images keep you hooked and conspiring- imagining what our heroine sees and feels. Searching for love and meaning, she wants to castigate her heartache- that magic and spark is needed. Boasting one of the most rushing and full-bodied choruses, the combination of serenity and passion is hugely effective- the track is a lot more honest and simpler (than previous numbers). Sparks, grumbles and diversions (in the composition) are traded; yet the emphasis is on the central performance- making sure the words hit home. The two leads combine naturally and splendidly here; their commingling creates huge rush and sense of excitement- spine-tingling and wholly immersive at its peak. Soulful funk and spunk is laden in the guitar work; our heroine was born without her animal heart and pride- her wings are folded. That sense of being weighed down keeps coming back; the need to shake away the darkness- the need to fly and soar is paramount. Shifting her voice and keeping the energy constant, our heroine is seeking answers and satisfaction; her soul is in need of galvanisation and redemption.

Before You Were Born is a track I have surveyed before- in addition to IQ84 and Same Without You. Having left it aside for a few months, its charm and appeal comes flooding back- right from the off. Moaned and wordless vocals sit with romantic piano. Spiraled and scintillating guitar parabond and conspire; the sensuality and sexiness- of the vocal and composition- comes to the fore. Our heroine projects outwards; save the planet while we can- important messages are laced within the tender vocal. Moonlit and twilight, the captivating vocal swoon sees a subject pinned “like a dog“- our heroine wants him (to make his) intentions known and sure. With the hero adding vocal prowess- in the chorus- the song keeps climbing and layering; that drama and drive builds up. The heroine’s voice is at its sweetest and highest here- during the chorus it swells to the heavens with its transcendence. That range and changeable nature make the song so insistent and gripping: the vocal(s) mutate from soft and tingling to impassioned and full-bloodied- the composition has a similar consideration for mood and sonic shift. Dramatic and uplifting; fascinating and emotive- it is a perfect mid-album treasure. Catchy and memorable; swelling and gripping- the band turn in one of their best numbers. Capable of uniting festival crowds in rounds of sing-alongs; cure darkened hearts- it is a stunning and fascinating gem. Jacyln is a curious beast; a song that opens with haunting and eerie intent. Our heroine lets her darker and more shadowy side come through- a bit of Beth Gibbons and Alison Mosshart unite. Ghostly and tribal, the sapling moments are tense and gripping. The song’s subject has her name delivered with blood-curdling lust- our heroine shows the full extend of her histrionic range. Pulsating and anthemic, the band unite in a frenzied and determined movement; the song’s disreputable heroine is being given a throughout going-over. Her future was too stained “for her past to come clean“- instantly your imagination begins to speculate and dream. Jacyln keeps her eyes closed; she can see through (our heroine’s) eyes- backed by a staggeringly assured and heady composition, the vocal reaches its most intense. Having impressed hugely on previous numbers, it is here that our heroine lets her voice truly stagger and expand- the incredible shifts and shades are all uncovered and highlighted. Graveled and growled moments transform into tidal wave of electricity and bracing drama- few other vocalists possess such a startling range and diversity. Crackling and striking, the vocal is a potent and stinging reptile; an animalistic thing baying for blood- who can escape the terror? With the song’s key player being undressed and denounced; she is someone who thinks she has people figured out- her head in the stars, you start to add pieces to the puzzle. The song never relinquishes its attack and earthquake. Past the 3-minute marker, a delirious and trippy keys swagger come in- augmenting that sense of drama and headiness. Matching Muse for potent bombast- with none of the ridiculousness and circus- Jingo mutate and evolve once more. Our heroine’s voice becomes more Spoken Word. Employing hints of Alison Mosshart and Stevie Nicks, the low and gravelled projection has some distortion and echo to it- a steel stiletto kick that hits its target. The anti-heroine has been chasing bad love; filling her mind with false ideas- our heroine is keen to not go down that path. The perfect combination of sonic assault and hypnotic vocals, the band hit their peak here- showcasing just how phenomenal their new material is. Same Without You is a track that impressed me back in April, 2013. One of the band’s earliest tracks, it lines up seamlessly with Jacyln. Showing just how good they were- back in their early days- the song begins with graceful and moody piano. Jazz-flavoured and seductive vocals open up the track; our heroine is in the shine of a ’50s spotlight- an insatiable femme fatale with an alluring and scintillating intent. The words are accusatory and direct; the cards are on the table and laid bare- she does not want (her man) to lie to her; she will call his bluff. Fueled by desire and intent, the ombudsmen for truth and transparency is backed by suitable atmospheric support. Vibrating strings fuse with punching and kicking bass; the percussion keeps events level and tight- the gripping drama does not demure or restrict. The song’s central figure has not changed; he has the same (bad) heart- he made our heroine feel foolish and stupid. Letting her operatic belt speak volumes, the performance is an arresting and divine sound. She is the same (without him); his lack of presence has not changed circumstance and life- it seems he has been an anchor (on our heroine). The tricolour of audio innovation has a Baroque/Pop sensibility. In the same way Rufus Wainwright is able to expertly tie in Blues, jazz, Pop and Classical influences- and create an intriguing symphonic punch- Jingo does the same- albeit it more brooding. The passage continues for a fair few seconds, creating its own gravity and momentum; it takes its time to capture you. There is no need to fill every second with lyrics- the band know that it is just as important to project beautiful music in order to create a stunning effect. When it subsides, we are told our heroine “never made you feel sad”. The voice becomes harder and stronger, showing all of its lungs- as a crescendo is unleashed. Our heroine possesses a similar belt and force (as Adele); you can practically sense the hordes of record label bosses running towards the band- with a wardrobe, hair scissors and cosmetics in hands; perhaps thinking they have a U.S. Adele on their hands. Unlike our countrywoman, Jingo’s feminine tones posses a subtlety and consequential soul (that has been sadly lacking from a lot of Adele’s recent numbers). In spite of all the pertinent and heartfelt words; imploring questions and contorted emotions- whether it is a good or a bad thing- our heroine is “the same without you”. Past the 1:30 mark, there comes a clattering dance of guitars and percussion- with bits of Muse in there (before they started phoning it in). It is at once foreboding and heavy, but also melodic and planted firmly on Earth. It is another shape-shift that takes your consciousness to another place, once more. Lesser acts may plump for a steady and rigid composition- that conveys the emotion through a linear mood and doctrine- that seems a little too anxious to change course or be adventurous. It is the pioneering and playfulness that the band readily posses- that also does wonders where their music is concerned. This transferable quality adds emphasis and credence to an already gripping song. The track mutates into a skiffling and shuffling Jazz/Swing number- the vocal is still powerful and impassioned.  When the piano punctuates sternly; around it, a motivating and searching juggernaut is unleashed. As our heroine says “I am trying to stay true”, the accompanying composition- tied in to the audio of the previous 10 seconds or so- reminded me of the adventurousness and bending philosophy of Bjork. The Icelandic princess is constantly capable of dragging you to dark and magical woods- where fairies and monsters cohabit with little qualm. She also- sometimes with David Arnold- creates sweeping and emphatic soundscapes- that bristled with introverted passion and Brothers Grimm scares. In a similar and prudent way, our heroine’s voice has a touches of Debut and Vespertine Bjork: youthful and sweet, yet capable of ripping your head clean off- if you push her too far. It is quite electrifying. As the chorus ends again, there is an echoed vocal- as though we have reached the rooftop and (through a bullhorn), our heroine is shouting her message. Not just directed to her disgraced beau- to anyone else who is within an ear’s reach too. The hero is not within sight; with amplification and nary a second thought, the operatic and full-bodied passion is back. The voice crackles, rips and tears asunder- as we witness a trickling and flailing guitar weave.  To my ear, it has some traces of Jack White. Think his solo albums, mixed with the majesty unveiled during the Get Behind Me SatanIcky Thump regency. I smelt a flavour of Steely Dan in there as well- circa-Can’t Buy a Thrill. It is a most unexpected sonic diversion, and again adds a layer of U.S. influence to the melting pot. Bits of Santana, Slash and Clapton are heard in the D.N.A. as the sound of piano comes out. Instead of being romantic, a hand is run across the keys with verve- ghostly and unstoppable snowballs hurdle towards the village. Holmes and Watson can stop looking for a strange beast, as it seems the hurtling ball of impending doom is going to cause instant catastrophe. The guitar gives out cries and anguished yelps as the drum beats with vermilion fury- never out of control, it keeps a very sharp and mythologised spine. The heroine comes in to restore some semblance, as she lets it be known (that she is) the same without her man (not Jack, obviously). The chaos abates; a lilting and romantic piano ends the track- bringing sunshine to the stormy and harsh night, previous. Almost matching Jacyln in terms of genius, it is amazing how natural the two tracks sit together- seeing how they were recorded so far apart. Jingo show just how impressively consistent they are. IQ84 is a track I have reviewed previously. There is a little oriental flavour and spice to be heard within the introduction. Armoured with chopstick percussion- and guitar work disinclined to rest its feet- it is a rousing and tight start (and multifaceted too). As well as a nod to the Far East, there is a sense of electronic acts (like Tricky or Massive Attack) in the spirit and voyeurism of the start. There is no clue or inclination as to where the track will go- or what the vocals have in store. Perhaps not imbued with a laudatory smile, the lyrics have a little pessimism in their early stages. Our American siren is exclaiming how the world is not a fair place, explaining: “It won’t be make-believe/If you believe in me”. As you settle into your seat- ready to delve deeper into their subconscious- a marauding and rampant drumbeat strikes up; whipping fear into the heart. The beat staggers and struts- perhaps arrhythmical- to the foreground; it is a rush of blood to a monochrome canvas. The vocal has a pleasing restraint and uniqueness to it. There are perhaps little hints of early-career Beth Gibbons, but aside from that, our heroine’s voice is its own woman. For the initial eighth of the track, the lyrical theme remains unabated- pertaining to the subjects of the realities of life and the redemptive truths of love. The percussion and guitar remain impressively propulsive- keeping strong and unabashed throughout. There is a sonic and dramatic shift soon after. The guitar becomes less karate chop, and more scratchy. It sounds- at first- like a more melodic, restrained cousin to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. It is an impressive sea-change; the modulation from syncopated and Asiatic- to a London-via-Washington indie-grunge mutation- is impressive. The vocal is lighter and more wistful; the lyrics still have a sensitive side: “but you’ll always have my heart”. The drums again wallop like a adrenalin-filled heart, pulsating when needed- to elevate and punctuate the mood. The Indie twang and strum (of the guitar) is a little bit The Kooks; a tiny bit early-Bird Courage and Arctic Monkeys. After a successful ascent of the mountain and slight snowstorm, there is a 30ft fall ahead. The electricity of the music is replicated in the vocals, as our heroine is a woman overwhelmed. She is overcome and exacerbated: “Baby please/You’ve got me on my knees”, is evocatively pronounced- portraying dramatic tension and rain-swept romantic tableau. Our heroine implores (to her paramour) to not leave her- to take her with him. One can draw comparisons with female contemporaries such as P!nk, The Pretty Reckless and Adele, but there is a credibility and intelligence (the first two do not posses)- and unlike Adele, the emphasis is not on vocal alone. The backing is by no means subterfuge- it is right there holding our protagonist’s hand. The changing moods and story-line twists; they infuse the song with such mystery and electricity. Very few modern bands can credibly pull off so many dips and switches- and remain gripping. Jingo does it in style. There is a real sense of story and parable in the lyrical arc-this is sublimated by the nervy and fractious bait-and-switch. Around 1:51 there is a palpable rise in blood pressure. As the vocal is held; guitar and instrumentation peaks- the refrained “Baby please…” is with us, once more. It is an emotional coda- which far from being too morose- has a redemptive sensibility. The message is effective, and towards 3:00 the guitar contracts and bungees (with elasticity)- it weaves and forges new paths. There are elements of U.S. acts such as The Eagles, Steely Dan and Queens of the Stone Age- this creates a heady and exciting bubble. The synthesised blends and notes give way to the chorus (as we come to a close). Don’t Call It Love starts with a terrific mix of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead. Displaying some Live at Sin-e live majesty; bits of The Bends-era potency, the guitar opening leads to a serene and focused vocal. Colours you cannot see; troubled mothers and hungry children are introduced. At her most graceful and stunningly pure, our heroine has “heard enough.” The chorus is one of the most scintillating and stunning (on the album). Childhood possessions and recollections are recounted; false ideals are being held onto (by the song’s subject)- the track builds pace and potency (past the 2-minute point). Asking her man- and hero- to take a trip (with her) to places they’ve never seen (or been), that mingling of romance-cum-accusation comes through. Compositional elements have touches of Radiohead (Bishop’s Robe especially) and unifies ’90s Indie-Rock with U.S. bands (like Not Blood Paint). Sighing and ethereal vocals unite towards the 3:30 mark to give a haunting and impassioned sound- it could easily fit onto a Rumours track like The Chain. Evocative and tingling, a huge amount of force is summoned up. The two leads combine wonderfully to get the hairs standing to attention. A particularly tight and primal band performance makes every word and sentiment stand out in bold face- it is a packed and incredible band turn. Our heroine’s vocal once more stretches and climbs to wracked and fierce heights- that delirious crackle that gets straight into your soul. During the chorus (past the 4-minute mark) it climbs and hunts; scales to dizzying climbs- intoxicating every listener. Squalling and psychedelic guitar wailings are riffs of the highest order- trippy and strung-out wonders that add spice and alcohol into the bloodstream. Leaving the song with entrancing and swaggering lust, the band ensure Don’t Call It Love is not easily forgotten. After a firestorm of strings- that ends with feedback- you think the song is going to conclude. The final moments are left to our heroine: her voice is soft and solo; without accompaniment, the full beauty and power comes out- equaling the most spine-tingling moments of Buckley and Bjork. Having heard the final of 12 tracks, you have a lot to take in and absorb- the phenomenal The Art of Loving is one of the best albums you will hear all year.

If you have stuck with me so far- thank you- then it is fitting I sum up the album as best I can. Jingo is an outfit that favour egalitarianism; the equality (the band employ) results in organic sounds and tight performances. The production through The Art of Loving is superb and concise- polished enough to make every note recognisable and clear; atmospheric and bare to allow the right amount of primacy and nakedness to come out- the vocal performances are suitably live-sounding and emotive (because of this). I was impressed by the sequencing and track listing. Most bands- when putting out a debut L.P.- tend to front-load the record; make it top-heavy- meaning the second half drags and drones. The secret to a perfect running order- and balanced album- is to have one of your best tracks up top; ensure the four finest songs are equally spread- two in each half.  You should aim to finish with your strongest numbers. Jingo has pulled this off. The finest tracks occur near the end of the album; the six tracks (of the first half) have equal distribution of quality- as does the second. This leads to an album that is balanced, poised and constantly surprising- you discover gems and one-upmanship in places you do not expect. Meaning your interest and fascination is not peaked too soon, the band brilliantly keep the momentum going- ensuring no listener ends (the experience) disappointed or short-changed. The dozen tracks simply fly by; there are no long or bloated moments- each number sounds urgent, direct and economical. Numbers like the title track make the album such a wonder. Not only is it addictive, effective and defining mantra (of the album’s intentions and messages)- it is a short and brief number that packs a huge amount of weight. Most bands would have lengthened such a song; stretched it out and made it too aimless- Jingo not only unleash a perfect punctuation mark; it is a song that stands among the top three. The range of genres and moods covered is outstanding. Most Alternative-Rock and Indie bands are too narrow and ritualistic- they do not innovate and experiment; few unexpected treats are offered up. Jingo amaze with the wealth of their sounds and colours; the performances, time signatures and songbooks alter and variate- no two songs sound alike. The entire album has a superb amount of professionalism, focus and perfectionism- together with loose and ragged edges; an at-ease sound shows phenomenal naturalness. It is worth applauding the band themselves. Sahil Batra is the band’s new boy- the bass player that has some big shoes to feel. Unlike bands like Pixies- who would bully and marginalise a wannabe-Kim Deal- the benevolent and communal band grant Batra plenty of room- their natural friendships mean he perfectly and seamlessly fits into the fold. Showing no nerves and hesitation, his performances are consistently enlivening and uplifting. The most diverse musician of the band, Batra is as effective on keys duties as he is on bass- his contributions almost steal the top honours. The bass guides and leads; drives songs forward and amazes- it has plenty of rhythm and personality. Like Kim Deal or Paul McCartney, the bass is more than a guiding tool- it has its own personality and projection. Imbued with a hungry power and myriad contrasts, it adds shades of light and dark when needed; playful and funky at times- able to match the mood of the song. His keys contributions add swathes of spaciness and cosmic oddity; interplanetary weirdness sits with emotive and lush romanticism- upbeat and pomp circumstance nestles alongside primal urges. Chris Smith- who wrote and played on the numbers; replaced by Batra- should be commended and applauded.  Whilst a former member of the band, his notations and elements all appear within The Art of Loving.  A incredibly authoritative and compelling player, his essence and talent shines (throughout the album).  In addition to co-writing the album, Smith’s touches and personality defines (some of the album’) best and most astute moments.  An exceptional and natural performer, he is tight and focused throughout.  Having reviewed Jingo last year- when Smith was with the band- I commented on his drive and multiple talents; the way he lifts songs and injects something unexpected and urgent- he is one of the unsung heroes of the L.P.  Were it not for his input and influence, most of the songs would be weaker and less effective.  Congratulations and plaudits should be paid to him- and rightful credit given.  Joseph Reeves provides the punch and pummel. Levying so much authority and prowess, the stunning drummer adds elemental potency to so many numbers. Like Batra, Reeves has a distinct sound and personality- his drumming is not cliché and rank-and-file. A lot of drummers exist to fill gaps and mould into traditional and expected confines- Reeves is allowed full room to manoeuvre and impress. His mighty and evocative presence makes every song sound fully focused and unpredictable- his sticks are able to add unexpected and delightful notes; twist the track in unexpected directions- I have been a fan of his work for a long time now. Influenced by the drumming giants of old- the Grohls of the world- you can hear that similar power, skill and intuition pioneer hard.  Reeves’ performances- along the album- are tightly crammed with emotion and insatiable appetites. The final plaudits go to the husband-and-wife duo of Jack and Katie Buckett. Jack’s guitars are stunningly powerful and intriguing; so much colour and life is contained within. When songs go astral and stratospheric, you catch glimmers of Pink Floyd and Radiohead- Jonny Greenwood’s fretwork on OK Computer particularly. Not confined to a single sound, he summons up raw power and Desert-Rock swagger; braggadocio and masculine sexuality- matching the bad-ass axemen Josh Homme and Jack White. Having a huge and rounded knowledge of music, Buckett incorporates cross-pollination of various genres- masterful at uniting Blues and Rock alongside Garage and Pop. Melodic and honest the one moment; overt and explosive the next. Across the dozen tracks, the amount of emotion and ground covered (by the guitar) is sensational- I cannot wait to see how this is developed across future releases. His vocals blend perfectly with Katie’s- the two have a natural bond that comes through. Adding essential force, beauty and diversity, Buckett’s voice is distinct and urgent. If you look at an album like Rumours, it is stronger and more evocative (because of the different vocal sounds). Songs like Go Your Own Way are amazing because Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks joined Lyndsey Buckingham- were it just Buckigham alone, the song would not be as amazing. Unlike Fleetwood Mac’s tug-of-war tussle, Jingo’s male vocalist is stress-free and without anxiety- allowing his voice to sound effortless and unforced. Last recommendation and commendation goes to the group’s American leader, Katie Buckett. Her keyboard work is sensational and incredible throughout- an essential aspect of the album. As a player she is assured and deeply impressive; showcasing her natural abilities and intuitive feel. As a singer, she is in a league of her own. The lyrics and music are uniformly inspiring and compelling; the way she scores (the words) is sensational. Inspired by the likes of Alison Mosshart and Adele (to an extent), Buckett surpasses both- few other modern vocalists have such a staggering range. As natural and spellbinding when roaring and belting out her words- as she is seducing and softly teasing- that elasticity and flexibility enforce’s Jingo’s creative process. Most bands- with limited singers- and confined by what they can write; have to work around the realities of life. Due to Buckett’s planet-straddling range, it means The Art of Loving can do whatever it wants- knowing Buckett will knock it out of the park. Drawing in some embers of her Brooklyn home sounds; elements of Blues-Rock icons- together with some modern-day British influences- and you get a cornucopia and variegated spectrum- one that amazes and mutates on each number. Almost wild and dangerous in its untamable moments, it is amazing how astutely Buckett can contrast and constrict- she can bring her voice down to a whisper without showing camber or fatigue. All of this- each band performance- results in an album that is tight, nuanced and hugely impressive- one of the most immediate and stunning albums of 2014. Throw in poetic, deep, oblique and quote-worthy lyrics; deep and stunningly striking compositions- you have a critic-proof album that demands long and impassioned appreciation. Jingo’s debut album may have been many months in the planning- the final result is well worth the wait.

It’s kinda sad that I am returning to the land of the employed (and useful) in a week- solely because my reviewing days are restricted to Saturdays-only. Jingo is a band that I have been following closely for many months- having assessed a string of their songs, I am so glad to see them at their peak. There is no bias, subjectiveness and hyperbole in my review- if they sucked I would (kindly) phrase it on the page. I hope I get to review them in the future; follow them still and see where they can go- it is clear the quartet are on an exciting and prosperous course. Great and illustrious gigs have come; paen and tribute has been paid- media sources are celebrating and elevating the band. They may have gone through a minor band member substitution- Sahil Batra is a relatively new addition- yet it seems to have worked for the best- I have never heard Jingo sound stronger and more natural. This solid and unbreakable formation comes out in their music; it will lead to great things- ensure the guys go on for many years. The male-female, British-American vocalisations add so much candid depth and directness to all of their music; the combinations of notes and vocals is intoxicating and hypnotic- one of the band’s most potent weapons. Each song- on their album- contains an incredibly tight and compelling performance; the music is brought vividly to life- few other acts play with such conviction and purpose. Intelligent, stylish and stunning songwriting has resulted in a masterclass debut album- one that contemporaries and peers should take note of. Not so much the long goodbye; more like the proud supporter- Jingo are going to be a big prospect for the future. I hope Katie takes the chaps across to the U.S.; get gigs lined up- the hemorrhagic sounds should not be confined to our shores. I can see the band translating well across L.A. and California- I have reviewed acts here that would nobly support their quest. Able to tantilise and grip the boroughs of New York; buckle the knees of the Midwest- they have the potential to take their stall globally. After the U.S., then who knows? The quartet have a world out there awaiting- it is only a matter of time (before it is theirs). Of course, the group are keen to focus on the release of The Art of Loving– see how it resonates and is received. Among a sea of indeterminate and ho-hum bands, it is always great uncovering an oyster- an aphrodisiac with an eye-catching and heartbreaking pearl. Before I depart- and set my view on another act- I will arrive back at my original thesis. Unexpectedness is not something you encounter much in the rubble of stampeding musicians- something that catches you off guard. Whether it is a flamboyant and vivacious sound; a head-spinning concoction of instruments and variations- it is always a great pleasure. Jingo manages to side-step expectation on a number of different fronts- the first is their music. Across a dozen songs, the quartet display a huge amount of talent and potency- incredible songwriting and tremendous performances. Synonymous with their vocal prowess and nuanced sounds, Jingo have an artistic eye for design- making sure they put detail into their music as well as their website. In essence, the band are a fun and likeable troupe; artists that want to draw in listeners and new fans- few are as eager and passionate as them. When The Art of Loving is released next week, ensure you get a hold of it- see what you take away from the music. Having almost a brotherly bond (with the band), I am going to follow their careers with great interest. Saying goodbye for now, the Jingo juggernaut is powering on- gaining momentum and fresh fuel. Let us hope I get the chance to investigate the band in the future; knowing how hard they work…

I am sure it will not be too long!

 

 

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https://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/about/

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