Less than halfway through the debut record from Milwaukee punk-rock trio Jinksie, singer-guitarist Wendy Norton and singer-bassist Amelinda Burich shout out what could be either a sentiment of kinship or a veiled threat. “We’re just like you! We’re just like you!” they snarl on the song of the same name. The group’s old-school punk sound may be inviting, but something about its overall vibe suggests running into its members in a dark alley would be—like its name suggests—a bit of bad luck.
Norton and Burich are both Milwaukee music scene veterans, and Jinksie represents a tweak to their previous Fun Bois project. Norton’s husband Ryan King replaces Fun Bois drummer LUXI here, and the results are terrific: alternately fun and menacing, bubble-gum-popping and knife-wielding. “Whether you’re looking for a tender Go-Gos style track to get ready for a Saturday night out or a heavy banger to smash your ex’s stuff to, Jinksie’s gotcha covered,” Norton recently told Radio Milwaukee. See? They are just like you/us.
The eight tracks that make up the self-titled record are all perfect pocket-sized punk concoctions, the longest (closer “Scam”) just passing the three-minute mark. There’s the shambling and anthemic opener “Go On.” There’s the wickedly chugging “Slide,” featuring on-point slippery vocals from Burich. Album standout “The Passage” boasts a trifecta of soaring vocals, punk background shouts, and a nasty guitar solo. The track is followed by the ridiculously great Ramones-esque “Step Away,” a highlight amongst highlights.
Is it all over in about 20 minutes? It wouldn’t be punk if it was much longer. Thankfully, the combined talents of Norton, Burich, and King ensure you’ll be returning to the deliriously good-times, bad-attitude sounds of Jinksie in no time flat.