JOE 4 - Njegov Sin

Joe 4 - Njegov Sin

10 songs
34:04 minutes
***** **


Earlier this year, I got quite a good impression of Enola Gay, the debut EP by Croatian three-piece Joe 4. I was eagerly awaiting their first longplayer, as the band promised that it would be produced by Steve Albini. Now the album Njagov Sin is finally out, and frankly I doubt that Mr Albini did that much to help Joe 4 to improve their sound. But more of that later! The band’s statement on their Bandcamp page that Steve Albini paid seemingly more attention to playing Scrabble on his computer than listening to the band during the recording sessions shows that the three bearded men have left this experience also with a hint of disappointment.

Njegov Sin is still Nineties tinged noise rock of the better kind. What I already liked about the band on their debut still stands true: their sound is incredibly unpolished, the vocals are hoarse shouts that fit the music perfectly, and the songwriting is varied enough to guarantee uninterrupted listening pleasure. My major problem with the mix is that the bass guitar is overshadowing the regular guitar nearly throughout the album. While such a prominent bass sound would be ok for a guitar-less band, the trio constellation eventually suffers from a lack of the high end notes.

Apart from that, everything else I said about Joe 4 last time still counts. Despite the musicians’ fierce approach, their technical prowess is undeniable. The drums are menacingly furious, laying a skilful carpet for the two other musicians to lay down their instrumental parts. The vocals may be very harsh, but there is also a certain melodic component that makes sure that you never grow tired of the singer. Whenever the band decided to switch back a notch, you might even discover a hint of stoner blues, like on the excellent Houlihan.

Fans of abrasive noise rock have three options to get Njegov Sin. The vinyl edition comes at 10 Euros, the CD edition is only half as expensive, and both come with immediate download codes. Then there is also the customer friendly pay-what-you-want digital download edition. Despite minor sound misgivings, I still suggest that you give these three furry Croatians some moments of your time.

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