Joggers With a Cape and a Cane

Joggers With a Cape and a Cane
It’s jerky, angular and just a bit shouty! Can you guess the genre? Well, that’s probably being unfair to Portland, OR’s Joggers and their not-as-derivative-as-you’d-think post-punk indie style, but, really, this could be taken as another shout out to Gang of Four. There’s a dash of something new in the Asian tinge to opener "Ziggurat Traffic,” but "Wicked Light Sleeper” is pure throwback. Now, don’t take it as a bad thing, as the riffs, intricate guitars and sneering sing-shouts actually make for a decent track. Indeed, most of the album, while reminding, passes muster due to the dedication and quality of the tracks. Why, you even get a dash of inspiration as "We’ve Been Talked Down” features some great layered guitar work and "Since You’re Already Up” gets the feet moving with perfect choruses that pushes these tracks beyond the usual influences. Adding up all the elements here, it’s actually quite hard to make a good argument about why post-punk bands should be tossed aside casually as if they’re just "fad” bands. While the Joggers may sound familiar, they’re just so fucking good at what they do, it’s very hard to nail them to the wall with it.

At the beginning of "Ziggurat Traffic” there’s a distinctive Asian influence, but, it doesn’t really appear again. Why the one-off? Vocalist/guitarist Ben Whitesides: We don’t map out our music before it’s written. We don’t say, "Let’s have three dance songs, three with unusual tunings, and a couple more with this or that.” We like a lot of Eastern music influenced by the West; Western music influenced by the East, but distilling influences is a futile thing, I think.

The press has been pretty damn good. From an earlier interview, you said, "I feel toughened to this sort of shit. I hope I'm right.” Any updates on this? Well you’re talking about two different things. The difficulties I have had with being in a band have nothing to do with the press we’ve received. When I spoke about toughening up I was speaking in general terms about reacting badly to different things in my life, only some of them related to being in a band. Despite the endless beer gauntlets, innumerable nights sleeping in the van, and tedious drives, I can say that this is the most fun I’ve ever had on tour. (Star Time International)