Jogging - Minutes
There really is something special happening right now among Irish bands trading in rousing, urgent guitar music. From And So I Watch You From Afar's ear-shattering full debut to Not Squares’ potential-dripping early singles, not to mention thrilling introductions from Girls Names and The Cast Of Cheers, it's certainly been an exciting 12 months or so. Minutes, the fiery debut from Dublin three-piece Jogging, shows that trend has no intention of slowing down. It also proves that Belfast - or in the case of Adebisi Shank, a corner of Wexford - doesn't hold a monopoly on the current thrilling turn of events.
Formed from the ashes of Dublin band The Coldspoon Conspiracy, Jogging are a far more aggressive proposition than their previous, locally-revered incarnation. In fact, they position themselves so instantly from the opening yelp of 'Threadbare'; the album opener shows an obvious appreciation of the finer points of the Dischord Records back catalogue and - along with the equally stunning 'Not Simple' and 'Shape Up Shakedown' - is as good as anything bearing the DC label's hallowed stamp of approval. And although the band themselves cite now-defunct New Yorkers The Van Pelt as a major influence, the less clued-in among us will immediately think of At The Drive-In, with anyone who’s been left bewildered by a decade of The Mars Volta likely to be left salivating the most.
Where a lot of debuts would struggle to maintain any momentum around three such obvious highlights, however, Minutes manages for the most to keep the pace up. 'Fostered Foes' and 'Lifeline' showcase a freer, more unwieldy side, while 'Shattered Knees' tips its hat towards the less frenetic stylings of Dinosaur Jr. Un fortunately, these slightly more earnest tendencies stray a bit too far on album closer 'Curtains', which – though by no means a bad song – ends proceedings with an unwelcome change of pace.
It's a minor blot, however, because what’s come before it is a ferociously impressive debut. A pissed-off album for a pissed-off time, or a time, as Ronan Jackson sings on ‘Threadbare’, when "the world is walking out the door".
An album that deservedly earned Jogging comparisons to post-hardcore gods At The Drive-In, Minutes is a mightily impressive and assured debut. Born from the ashes of Dublin band The Coldspoon Conspiracy, Darren Craig, Ronan Jackson and Peter Lee decided to turn their amps way up for their latest incarnation. The likes of ‘Threadbare’ ‘Shattered Knees’ and ‘Shape Up Shakedown’ announced the arrival of a trio capable of standing up against anyone else who attempted to shatter your eardrums this year. (Review) (Track-by-track guide)