Jeff Moody

Greetings From Zagreb!

Croatian band Joe 4's Steve Albini-recorded album "Njegov Sin" is blunt and relentless.

By - Sep 29th, 2012 04:00 am
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Joe 4 takes their name from the nickname Americans came up with for a Soviet-era test nuclear warhead, and they have an abrasive, pounding rock aesthetic that likely would’ve made them the only Croatian band on the Touch & Go roster back in the 1990’s. The band’s new elpee is called Njegov Sin, and they are blunt and relentless. Joe 4 employs the classic bass-drums-guitar-vox construct, hammering away at each track. Vocals are reduced to velar fricatives yelped out whether they’re in Croat or not.

Njegov Sin was recorded at Oxygen studios in northern Italy, the same studio where the new Kash elpee was recorded. The sound is as perfectly clear, crisp and clean as you would expect from a Steve Albini recording, (and yes, Albini recorded and mixed this) which makes it all the more enjoyable because, amidst the din, you can hear details like picks hitting/scraping bass strings and breaths being drawn between vocal delivery lines.

In our machine-driven, synthetic everything world, these simply lovely captured accents are a reminder that, as loud and monstrous as Joe 4 gets, they are indeed humans making music, and that, if it’s done right, you can find more intimacy in noise than you can in the acoustic hippy strummyness of Mumbles & Sons or whatever their name is.

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