There is no one quite like Jinx Lennon. Every album that the Dundalk man releases posits a conundrum – is he a genius or a charlatan? The offbeat musician has always taken an unorthodox approach to songwriting, but this collection veers further down the madcap rabbit hole than ever before.
Stream of consciousness rants tackle topics like racism (Where Does All the Hate Come From), domestic violence (Age 12) and the importance of steely self-regard (the enjoyably emboldening You Can’t Let Other People). When it works, Lennon offers perceptive takes streaked with surrealism and dark humour, as heard on Hard Man Beard, a pithy takedown of a certain kind of man “dressed like Peaky Blinders crossed with ‘80s goth” and wearing “chicken leg trousers”.
When it doesn’t, he can sound like the kind of garrulous barfly that you’d leave a pub to avoid (Change the Yoke). At 25 tracks, it’s clearly overlong and in need of editing but there some good songs here. The best are the concise numbers that paint vivid pictures, blended with Lennon’s bleary garage-rock soundtrack that’s intermittently tinted with punk (the wacky Skivvy, the squally bristle of TV Licence Man) but also veers off into jazzy, sample-heavy chillout territory (Make Your Own Luck) and a nightmarish blur of screams and sounds (Mojo). The resultant album is as puzzling yet as undeniably intriguing as the man himself.