Let’s get one thing straight; Jogging are loud. Delightfully so. From the opening salvo of the first track it becomes clear that Minutes is an unforgiving album which unapologetically moves from one surging, breathless track to the next before ending just like it began – fast, loud and hard. It’s difficult to deny Jogging’s excellence at crafting songs of the highest intensity, but how much of this is too much?
The latest album of the Richter Collective assembly line, Minutes is a frantic collection full of the sort of crunchy bass hooks and piercing vocals which you normally wouldn’t associate with an Irish band, but the Dublin based three-piece are another example of the ever-expanding musical base in this country. Jogging, with all their pomp and vigour, represent real vibrancy in a music scene which was once comprised almost exclusively by over-earnest singer-songwriters crooning about their feelings in a dark corner in Doyle’s. Jogging don’t concern themselves with this and we’re all better off for it.
Album opener ‘Threadbare’ is brilliantly realised and is an example of Jogging at their anthemic best. It is a dark and foreboding song, yet simultaneously catchy and memorable – a notoriously difficult balance to achieve. ‘Shattered Knees’ is another standout track, fusing a more considered guitar approach with quirky, abstract lyrics before it reaches its heart-pounding conclusion. ‘Cleft Chin’ is one of the more obvious examples of the brand of hardcore music that Jogging are tipping their cap too throughout this album. It is a two-minute long whirlwind of a tune with an aggressive edge, providing a concise nutshell example of what Jogging are all about.
The sheer unrelenting nature of Minutes proves to be its main drawback, however. It’s not the most dynamic of albums, with almost every song occupying the same aural range and adopting a similar style to the one before it. While that may be great news for some, for the average listener the album runs the risk of collapsing under its own weight.
Like so many of the records put out by the Richter Collective stable, this packs a heavy punch. But is this a knockout blow? Probably not, no. Minutes provides ample evidence that Jogging are very adept at the sort of high tempo, deliberate orchestration that you might associate with punk of yesteryear (Fugazi and Minor Threat are reasonable comparisons) but the thing about this sort of music is that the musical spectrum isn’t all that large and so it doesn’t really leave a lot of room to manoeuvre. Their sincerity, however, cannot be questioned.