Jinjer
Wallflowers

I know, I know. Jinjer. Despite their hype and relative fame based on the seemingly hundreds of YouTube “reaction” videos, they’re still worth a listen. Or several. They’re more deserving of mainstream metal acclaim than a lot the bands who receive it. They write great, memorable songs, and have one of the most talented and charismatic vocalists in metal. However, that hype machine is strong. Perhaps the two most hyped bands this year are Jinjer and Spiritbox. Jinjer’s new album is better. Much better.

When you listen to the first track, “Call Me a Symbol,” it sounds like Meshuggah adjacent groove metal. Immediately, the production stands out, as does frontwoman Tatiana Shmailyuk. This track sets the tone. It’s a straight pummeling for the first couple minutes, until her clean vocals kick in. Yes, there’s a small hook, but this sets the tone because the following tracks altogether are a lot heavier than you probably expected.

Track 2, “Colossus,” continues this. Yes, there’s more of a pronounced hook and chorus, but for the most part, it’s pretty heavy on the groove. The first two tracks are straightforward enough to lay the groundwork, but one has to wonder when the experimental side of Jinjer comes out to play.

However, one does not have to wait long, as track 3, “Vortex,” begins quietly with clean vocals, and a more subdued, almost lounge vibe. Ugh. I hate the word “vibe,” but it applies here. This track, however, gets heavy as well a little less than two minutes in. The groove in this track will get your head moving. This track, if one were to view it as such, is almost sort of an evolution of the first two, moving along into more progressive territory, but not totally abandoning the heaviness.

If you’re looking for something a little experimental, you have to move further along into the album to the title track, which is of course called “Wallflower.” It’s carried by Tatiana’s excellent cleans, and has some teases that it’s about to rip your heard from your flabby body, but only briefly enters that heavier territory. The chorus is one of the best on the album, instantly repeatable, and gives an insight into the band during these times you should definitely check out if you’re interested.

At the end of the album, the last two tracks are sort of companion pieces. “As I Boil Ice,” you know, to make water, is the first one, and it begins with the chorus, which is some solid songwriting. One can infer many things about that chorus. The last track and single “Mediator” begins with a literal “stop” and “go.” Listen and you’ll understand. The reason I say the last two tracks are companion pieces is because that chorus mentioned for “As I Boil Ice,” makes a brief appearance here, too. I’m really glad they chose this song to end the album on a high note. It’s a banger and probably the best track here, making the lead up to it well worth it.

I will be honest in saying I have only heard Jinjer’s last few recordings and I have become a fan. I may go see them when they play close to me later this year. I can see this one being on my year end list. I really have no negatives as it moves enough, is heavier than expected, and dynamic enough to keep my attention through its runtime. If you’ve never given this band a chance, I recommend you do. Yes, sometimes hype is justified.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
October 4th, 2021

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