If anything can be learned from Jinjer, it is that you can never have disrespect for drive and a strong work ethic. Aside from working on a new album and reissuing their 2014 LP Cloud Factory, these Ukranian upstarts also have a fresh EP in Micro (Napalm Records) ready to be dropped on a hungry audience. And let me tell you, that volume-centric approach is paying off nicely.
For starters, Jinjer is consistently touring internationally and scoring coveted support slots for, stop if you’ve never heard of them, bands like Soilwork, Obscura and Arch Enemy. Judging by their glossy and well-lit music videos and constant on-air rotation on Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal, it’s clear that Napalm really believes in its client.
And you’re probably saying that’s all well and good, what about the damn EP?
Well, Micro certainly delivers the goods and is a nice showcase for anyone who may not be familiar with Jinjer’s groove and melody-drenched approach. I mean, there are some hang-ups that we certainly need to talk about. For example, I was as puzzled as anyone else to learn that ‘Teacher, Teacher!’ is literally about attending school. And to drive that point home we have, let’s call them interesting lines like “Don’t let the school make a fool of you, Because the teachers may be fools too.” Thankfully there is plenty of muscular groove and Tatiana Shmailyuk’s knack for delivering big hooks and choruses to disguise most of the lyrical silliness. Placing the mostly acoustic title track last in the running order also seems puzzling to me as it can feel like a cue for the listener to stop paying attention.
Other than that, fans will get their kicks on ‘Ape’ and ‘Dreadful Moments’ with their gnarled guitars and an abundance of low-end snarl. Think of what Toothgrinder or Entheos are currently sounding like and you’ve got an idea as to what Jinjer is serving up, only that they have Shmailyuk’s dynamic vocal range adding the right amount of spice and soothing comfort when needed.
My want for Jinjer is for them to continue to succeed and make their presence ever-further known in North America shows that maybe I’m not the cynical grump I like to think I am. Thanks, Jinjer!
7 / 10