Review Summary: Wonderfully colourful nuggets of psychedelic indie pop.
I vividly remember watching Jurassic Park as a child. It was way too scary for me, yet I always wanted to see it. Those magical moments when the different kinds of dinosaurs were introduced, John Williams going crazy, poison being shot in eyes in the pouring rain, and the raptors. Oh, the raptors. They made me flee into the kitchen and put my fingers in my ears. But what has everybody’s favourite 90s dino flick to do with the debut full-length by Crumb, Brooklyn’s very own psychedelic indie trio? I have no clue.
This ties in beautifully with Jinx’s cover art. We’re looking at amber here, after all, poor entombed insects and all. The connection to the music inside isn’t easily found. Maybe it’s the similarities between a block of amber and a kaleidoscope, which produces all these weird, spacey, psychedelic colours and patterns. Jinx’s 11 short tracks are kaleidoscopic in a way. They provide many different fragments of colourful indie-pscych-pop which exist just long enough for the listener to notice them, before they take a left turn and morph into something else altogether. Part III’s shocking midway transformation for instance shifts the whole song from slightly anxious organ pop into something very sunny and relaxing.
The atmosphere here is laid back but with a twist of lemon. Lila Ramani’s vocals are on the good side of half-hearted, lazy boredom, with the lalala-lalala’s of Fall Down putting a smile on my face every time. She particularly shines on Ghostride, with a gorgeous vocal melody which is nicely set off by the precise drumming. The rhythm section here is tight and they are put very high in the mix, occasionally reminding me of krautrock. Nina’s pulsing beat really showcases these aspects, with its short outro being an album highlight. The album is very synth heavy, with artificial xylophone, harp, and horns thrown in the mix for good measure. Topping this all off are calm psychadelic guitar riffs, such as in M.R., which would be at home in every beach club.
Jinx is over before you know it, being only one second over half an hour long, with the average track clocking in at two and a half minutes. This keeps the music from getting stale, but sometimes makes me wish for them to take the often fresh and interesting ideas a step further instead of cutting them short every time. A great example is And It Never Ends, which ends way earlier than you want it to. A nice joke from the band, but its lazy chorus, harsh yet rainbow coloured synth drone and warm bass just beg for more exposure.
In the end it could also just be the title track’s ‘’We all get lost but we all come back’’ that warrants the Jurassic Park intro. Who knows. This is a lovely album either way.