“This is the border schizo cosmic folk sound, enjoy yourself today” sings Jinx Lennon on track three of his new album. The Dundalk folk-punk invites you to enjoy a glimpse of life in his hometown on his ninth album, Border Schizo FFFolk Songs For The Fuc**d. The collection captures the true essence of the popular cult artist, as he shares what grinds his gears in everyday life, as well as immortalising the atmosphere of living in a small border town with witty lyricism. The psychedelic 34-track collection is an amalgamation of comedy, criticism and unhinged ranting as well as social commentary, exploring topics from drug use and domestic violence to football and what the future holds for younger generations.
Songs like ‘Sneachta’ and ‘No Homeless People In Drogheda’ stay true to Jinx’s signature Sprechgesang vocal style, using colloquial language to tell raw tales of substance abuse and homelessness: “There’s no homeless people in Drogheda / don’t mind the ones lying on the ground / they’re just waitin’ along / till the next bus comes / and they’ll take them up to Dundalk town”. The track addresses the wilful blindness and denial of the homelessness crisis in Ireland from both the public and the government.
Also scattered throughout the album are short spoken tracks such as ‘Enjoy Yourself Today’, ‘Be Wise Be Humble’ and ‘Less Ish’, that maintain a casual and conversational tone, placing you in the room with Lennon as you embed yourself in “The Town”. His sense of humour is crucial to his music, and throughout this album he pokes fun at people and situations with a tongue wedged firmly in his cheek.
The humour is balanced with headier subject matter however, on tracks such as ‘The Most Dangerous Place for a Woman Is At Home’ and ‘Got More Chance Of Getting To The Moon’, which catch you off guard with their confrontations of domestic violence, climate change and hope for the youth – “You’ve got more chance of getting to the Moon than I / so point your tiny hands in the sky / the world might be submerged in under ten years time”.
After listening to this album, you feel a real sense of Dundalk, or at least one local’s perception of it. It’s perfectly encapsulated on tracks like ‘The Manhole Covers Of Dundalk Town’ and ‘Be Proud’. These songs reflect on messy nights out, pride in oneself and what it means to be from The Town. Jinx Lennon takes great pride in sharing these stories and thoughts with listeners, and, by the end, you feel more acquainted with him and the streets he has walked. Julie McKevitt