jointpop make music that makes your soul feel happy. I’m not sure if it’s the rebel spirit that oozes from these 13 tracks, marrying the spirit of Joe Strummer (whose Clash gem “London’s Burning” is given a ragged reimagining as “Trinidad’s Burning”, highlighting its universal theme of being an outsider in your own land) or the melodic echoes of everyone from Pavement to Bruce Springsteen, but this stuff is joyous, heartfelt music. Mainman Gary Hector has a way with words…invoking the essence of famed lucha libre “Mil Mascaras” on the song of the same name, Hector equates the longevity of his band’s existence with that of the titular wrestler. 20 years is a long time for a band to slug it out in the trenches, and the fact that Hector and company are not only still bringing it but doing so with a renewed sense of vigor and interest is damn exciting!
Producer Paul Kimble, best known for his work in Grant Lee Buffalo and always an interesting hand behind the boards, brings his dusky brilliance to the sounds that Hector coaxes out of his band. The jaunty piano and tangled leads of first single (and standout track) “Simply Beautiful” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the tracks that GLB contributed to the “Velvet Goldmine” soundtrack, and the creamy background sighs on “Two People, Two People” are inspired. The right production can elevate an okay record to a great one…Kimble’s work here is as fine an example of this as any, pushing Hector’s already great songs skyward. Take the chance and lose yourself in a good rock record for 36 minutes and you will likely come out the other end a fan of jointpop’s bash and pop.