By Tampa Earl, Rock At Night
Review: JIP’s album Thought This Was Over – Release date January 1, 2023
Sometimes what starts as a lark becomes a solid piece of your life. This is the story of the Chicago punk outfit JIP, who started as a solo artist and has now been around for the last twenty years jamming around the Windy City. They’ve certainly captured their essence as a band with their latest album release, Thought This Was Over, wowing audiences with their kinetic lyrics and excellence in their instrumental output.
If you’re expecting “punk” in the vein of protest music, then JIP isn’t up your alley. This is more along the lines of Offspring or the newer nineties-style offerings. There are also some garage rock overtones, but it overall makes for an entertaining 45 minutes (spread across fourteen tracks) that will bring enjoyment to listeners.
One of the longer tracks (just over four minutes) is the tune “Solid Ground,” a lament about wanting to reclaim what was had with a lost love. It allows singer Jim (the founder, singer, and guitarist for the group) to stretch out his vocal talents while his partners Mike (drums), Bruce (bass), and Spencer (guitar) provide a hard-hitting yet entertaining backing sound.
The song following that track, “Smile. Enjoy Yourself” is arguably the most fun tune on the disc. With a chorus of “Smile/Enjoy yourself/don’t be a dick!” JIP gets across that you’re supposed to be having fun with life instead of being dragged down by the curse of existence. “How the Sausage Was Made” traces the career track of the band, admitting that the course that the band has taken wasn’t always a pretty one.
There isn’t a weak track through the fourteen songs, with each effort tight musically and with lyrical content that is going to spark your interest. If you’re a fan of the nineties “pop punk” sound (Green Day, Offspring), then you should be behind such efforts as JIP. It is a sound that is not found frequently in today’s music world – a band that has some fun with what they’re doing and is damn good at what they do.
Jim Gwynn: Singer / Songwriter / Guitar
Mike Charbonneau: Drummer
Bruce Smith: Bass
Spencer Watson: Lead Guitar
*This album has guests Royston Langdon of Spacehog and Dick Valentine of Electric Six.
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