Jinx marks the 2nd and latest release from Brooklyn-via-San Francisco 80s indebted shoegazers Weekend. Their first release of new music since 2011’s Red EP, the album is a continuation of the bleak, reverb swathed sounds of their earlier releases.
Jinx opens with “Mirror”, an urgent, driving goth opus with musical references to The Cure/Echo and the Bunnymen. Clocking in at just under 6 minutes, the song is a good signifier of where the rest of the album will take the listener: the track is lengthy, but has enough changes to not feel tiresome or overstay its welcome.
Texturally speaking, Jinx is a cut above some of the like-minded Slumberland artists that have appeared over the past few years. While the record’s sound is rooted in a traditional shoegaze/post-punk aesthetic, it avoids the trappings of the genre through its self awareness. The production is clean and bright, a maximalist approach that is not necessarily in vogue with Weekend’s contemporaries.
Another way Jinx stands out from similar groups is its unwillingness to rely on studio techniques and clouds of reverb as a replacement for strong songwriting. Having said that, there are moments when studio trickery is front and center. 7th track “It’s Alright” is carried by an early industrial beat, with the rest of the instruments remaining largely unidentifiable in a wall of sound.
The album closes with “Just Drive”, an unforgiving blast of guitar noise with singer Shaun Durkan’s vocals floating above the chaos beneath. To end the album with this track proves the ease of which Weekend can escape the constraints of the genre. Most artists would choose to either end on a somber note, or a sonic exercise that doesn’t fit in with the previous songs (see: Loveless’s ‘Soon’, or Pornography’s title track). With Jinx’s last track and those preceding it, Weekend have proven that nu-gaze can still feel fresh, if executed with expertise.