16 October 2009

The Time Machine: Jakobinarina - The First Crusade

The Time Machine returns! Turns out the past isn't too great, but hey, I've remembered this lost gem. Jakobínarína's first and only album "The First Crusade" released just over two years ago. They've since split-up (I couldn't tell you why, since the explanation on their blog is Icelandic) which means it's very unlikely a fantastic follow-up will be unleashed onto an unsupecting musical world. "The First Crusade" is basically what the latest Cribs album should have sounded like; furious punk rock with an undeniable pop edge, and some great Johnny Marr guitar flourishes on top. Jakobínarína manage it without the help of the Manc legend, so how The Cribs didn't is a mystery.

Anyway, it's easy to see how "The First Crusade" slipped into the indie rock ether. Released in the same year as "Favourite Worst Nightmare", "Neon Bible", "In Rainbows", "Myths Of The Near Future" and, to a much, much, much lesser extent, The View's debut, it didn't stand much chance of appearing in end-of-year polls or being heralded as an outright classic. In my humble indie nerd opinion, "The First Crusade is one of the best albums of the last decade and should be remembered as such. Crafted by six Icelandians (Icelandicers?) between the ages of 17 and 21, it's astounding how powerful and vibrant it sounds. The pace barely lets up throughout the 12 songs, both the drums and guitars play at breakneck speeds, whilst a young Bernard Sumner lookalike bellows at you about the good points and (many) bad points of being young, angry, horny, judgemental and always looking for a good time.

Lyrics like "Jump around, around, around/to the sound/of mediocrity", "And I thought to myself/ "I've nothing to live for"/ Except next weekend/Because there will be a dance revolution" and "Who wants to be wise when they're 17? Got girls to see and a world to conquer" may not be challenge for Dylan, Morrissey or Richey Edwards in terms of being poetic or world-alteringly brilliant, but they do sum up the life of a 17-to-21 year old almost to a tee (much like The Hold Steady do, but without the world-weary and wise, retrospective feel to their songs). It's a shame that nothing this exciting and/or vital has come out of the music scene in the last three years or so, and an even bigger shame that Jakobínarína have split up. I seriously reccomend "The First Crusade" to anyone who likes their music loud, angry, fun and very catchy...or just anyone who like good music. I'll leave you with the best of Jakobínarína...

ESSENTIAL TRACKS: Every single one.
FOR FANS OF: The Cribs, Johnny Marr, Johnny Foreigner, The Futureheads, Be Your Own Pet, loud and angry punk rock


No comments: