Just Jinjer

2007-03-05 18:59
GALLERY: Sex, love and rock 'n roll

Fans of melodic, thoughtful rock music will appreciate the quiet passion and craft that has gone into Just Jinjer's sixth album. Eloquent and stylish, lead singer Art Matthews now carries the gravitas of a Dave Matthews or Evan Dando, a far cry from the panties-wetting pop poster boy who won the hearts of a teen audience with the release of 1996's "All comes round".

In those days, the heady and hairy days of early Squeal, Sugardrive, Lithium and Nine, making sensitive pop rock was enough to earn you the ire of music critics obsessed with the crass coolness of grunge and noise. Just Jinjer's second album, "Something for now", featured a cover of Rodriguez' Sugarman, a move calculated to further alienate the diehard rock fans infesting South Africa.

This petty history might in some way account for the fact that Just Jinjer are now residents of the US of A, and have left the cesspools and slushfunds of Roodepoort (Art's birthplace) far behind. They also appear to have altered the spelling of their name - maybe they got tired of Americans pronouncing it wrong. And unless it's a typo, Art also seems to have changed his name - to Ard. Ah well, the mysteries of breaking the American market. And "Just Jinjer" the cd deserves to break big. Matthews, Brent Harris (drums), Denholm Harding (bass) and Sandy Chila (guitars, keyboards) play as a band with confidence, with minimal histrionics and a smooth, tight sound. "Time of your Life" is probably representative of the Just Jinjer philosophy, a philosophy that seems to imbue the music with a cheerful optimism. "Now is the time of your life/ now is the time/ it's a sweet ride to the end of the line."

If you scour the net, you get a fair idea of the hard work that Just Jinjer are putting into their career. For example, there's a review by an Orange County local, proclaiming the band's virtues. "A month ago, this relatively small nightspot was pretty much empty on Wednesday nights. Then came a band called Just Jinjer. The once-sparse crowd grew each week as word spread that this was no ordinary band playing at the brewery on Wednesday nights."

That's the kind of thing that makes you soften towards a band. Six albums down the line, and still they're putting in the hard hours. "Just Jinjer" is the latest manifestation of that dedication, a fine album that just gets more interesting and exciting every time you listen to it.

- Chris Roper
Just Jinjer have grown up, left home and gone through changes - mostly for the better.

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Ray 2006/08/24 2:08 PM
It's Ard to pronounce the name I have it on good authority that Art's real name is actually Ard. With regards to the spelling of the bands name, well let's just blame the yanks for that.
Conrad 2006/08/24 2:28 PM
Brilliant JJ have done it again. Keep it up Ard, I mean Art, actually yes, Ard...
Alex 2006/08/24 4:57 PM
Serious music and serious fun This album speaks softly and deeply and at the same time makes me want to jump up and down on the dance floor.
Corne 2006/09/06 3:59 PM
Seriioussslly good What's in a name? there music ROCKS!!!!
Ard 2006/09/06 4:01 PM
Art or Ard - It's not the same really Ja my name is also Ard but If call me Art I don't care to much but I prefer being called Ard. Im not the same Ard by the way
Nicholas Koenig 2006/10/03 12:32 PM
JJ @ Botanical Gardens Dbn An EPIC night that won't be forgotten (although bits and pieces are already rather hazy LOL). Anyone who previously dismissed the local rock legends must be eating their words after that performance... They have really matured as a group and have discovered a sound that deserves to go global. The crowd response was amazing... and of course we were there right in the front getting the party started...Everybody was singing along and jamming to the beauty of modern melodic rock. They played all their classics... 'Shallow waters', 'Sugarman', 'Here's to you', 'She knows' and they fittingly ended off with the new single, "What he means," but of course that wasn't the end. We all screamed for more and they came back out to play two more songs... (which meant enough time to have another beer!) Fun was had by everyone (and several beers as well)... A night to remember...and a night to make South Africans proud! In the words of just jinjer.. "Let there be Peace, Love and More Tolerance"
kathi 2006/10/20 9:44 AM
can't stop listening saw them in laguna beach and I am still hooked 5 months later. Can't wait tillt hey come back to the west coast. I will be there!
warren 2006/11/07 4:07 PM
JJ Making it all good I've always enjoyed JJ and their latest offering is the first JJ cd I've bought. It's really good, filled with tight melodies and harmony. Very melodic. One can't help make certain musical comparisons to some international bands. But that's where it ends. JJ are carving a name for themselves, projecting their own style and energy onto a populus that has been saturated with heavy rock and grunge for far too long. Give them hell JJ...
cc 2007/02/28 3:51 PM
Rock 'Ard! Saw them last when they opened for Counting Crows in PE - they stole the show! I left halfway through C Crows, my mind blown by JJ - been a fan ever since.
Bryan 2007/09/29 4:34 PM
Its all in exposure If you put 100 mixed people in a club and these guy's played I bet most of them would come out asking for more. They have the goods all they need is the exposure. I did some research and Art's name is really Ard. Art for Us yankees. Do a bit more research Chris. I don't think its nice to trash a persons hometown either, what about your hometown Chris? Anyway I think they are "Just Jing(j)er"
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