1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Just Jinger”

She Always Gets What She Wants – Prime Circle

All Or Nothing – Prime Circle

All Or Nothing – Prime Circle

When bands like Springbok Nude Girls and Just Jinger either moved to the US or started going through the break up/make up/break up phase of life, there was a bit of vacuum left in the rock section of SA music. And into that gap came bands like Seether (till they also left for the US), aKing, The Parlotones and Prime Circle.

And its not too difficult, listening to ‘She Always Gets What She Wants’, to see why Prime Circle was one of those filling the gap as it is a very solid rock tune. It has the rough edged vocals, a solid beat, guitars and a great melody to make for some great rock music. Bands like Nickelback and The Wallflowers come to mind when listening to this laid back but with an edge track.

Undoubtedly there is a tipping of the hat to Just Jinger as it is clear that they had an influence on Prime Circle’s early stuff. Listening to their latest album, ‘If You Don’t, You Never Will’, they seem to have mellowed further with age, and while this later offering is certainly worth a listen, I have to say that I do prefer the earlier offering of ‘She Always Gets What She Wants’. The song won the SAMA record of the year award in 2009 and its not too surprising that it did. If she wanted a great rock tune, then she would have gone for this track, because…well you know what the title says.

Where to find it:
All Or Nothing – Prime Circle, 2008, EMI, CDEMCJ (WIS) 6433


Sister Stallion – Outsiders

Butta Grunge – Outsiders

Butta Grunge – Outsiders

Before the Springbok Nude Girls and Saron Gas (later to become Seether) took on the grunge sound in South Africa, there was a little-known band called The Outsiders who rocked in that dirty Nirvana-eqsue kinda way. Having said that, I would say, listening to ‘Sister Stallion’, that they were probably more akin to The Cult and bands of that ilk in that they rocked in a scuzzy-fuzzy way.

Opening their ‘Butta Grunge’ Album, ‘Sister Stallion’ is a full frontal assault from the first moment with a rasping guitar and pounding bass. Yowling vocals soon join the party in the moshpit and the song rocks along at pace.

There is not a lot of information around about the band, but what I have managed to find out was that they were formed in Port Elizabeth and consisted of Dolf, Johan and Andre Saaiman (brothers perhaps) along with Johnn van Staaden on drums. South Africa didn’t seem to be quite ready for this back 1994 as the band never took off, but it wasn’t long after that that bands like the Springbok Nude Girls and Just Jinjer were the biggest in the land. Maybe if The Outsiders had been a little slower on the uptake they may well have gone further.

Where to find it:
Butta Grunge – The Outsiders (1993), Gresham Records, CDDGR 1241


Home – Just Jinger

Greatest Hits - Just Jinger

Greatest Hits – Just Jinger

Released around the time that Ard (sometimes Art) Matthews and his Just Jinger (now Jinjer) were busy relocating to the US, it is  interesting that they would record a song called ‘Home’ as it must have a soul searching time for Matthews as he made the decision to leave his home. And this perhaps reflects in the song itself which finds the band in a reflective mood.

But apparently its not about Ard/Art at all and his leaving SA. Its a tribute to Nelson Mandela and all he did for South Africa.

The sound is not as heavy or lively as some of their previous offerings. Featuring a mellow rock beat around which thoughtful guitars gather, the song feels somewhat intimate and the listener almost feels like they are an intruder eavesdropping on a private jam that the band are having. And that is probably the attraction of this nugget, the sense of being privy to something that the creators of are not aware is being leaked to the public.

‘Home’ has a poignant intensity to it. The band are so caught up in creating this beautiful sound and the lyrics seem to echo in the heartbeat of the music. There is a searching and a longing in the vocals that swirl through the song. For the singer, home is where the Ard is and I think every house should have a ‘Home’.

Where to find it:
Greatest Hits – Just Jinger (2001), BMG Records Africa ‎– CDCLL(CLM)7048


Starlight – Grannysmith

Starlight - Grannysmith

Starlight – Grannysmith

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so the saying goes. Whoever came up with that phrase would not have been talking about this particular Grannysmith as I rememeber hearing that said when I was a child and Grannysmith the band were not around when I was a youngster. In fact when Mike Turner, Adrian Shannon and Riaan Combrink got together to form Grannysmith, it was well into the 90s.

However, the saying about keeping the medical profession at bay could quite easily be applied to the band that should have appeared on The Beatles Apple Records label as ‘Starlight’ is a song that will put you in a healthy frame of mind. It is a relaxed piece of pop rock with pseudo-classical guitars, breathy, mellow vocals and a laid-back mindset. It’s a de-stresser of a song.

The band were ‘discovered’ by Denholm from Just Jinger and signed to BMG near the end of of previous millennium (1999 in case you can’t remember that far back). ‘Starlight’ was their first single and it went on to just miss out on the S.A.M.A. best single of 1999 award where, despite its nomination, it was pipped at the post by Sugardrive’s ‘Disco Lazarus’. Some say winning is everything and second is nothing, but those that do can miss out on having a healthy bite of good music.

Where to find it:
Grannysmith – Grannysmith (1999), Colossal


Like You Madly – Just Jinger

Like You Madly – Just Jinger (Spice up your Like Life!)

Just Jinger - All Comes Round

Just Jinger - All Comes Round

Just Jinger were one of the biggest bands in South Africa during the late 90’s and early 00’s. With their grungy rock, they sparked with the public from their first album ‘All Comes Round’ and went on to tour with bands such as Counting Crows, U2 and Def Leppard.

One of the tracks off ‘All Comes Round’ was the popular ‘Like You Madly’. The song starts with a quiet refrain set against a bare guitar, but quickly builds to the thundering, yet catchy chorus that is largely responsible for its popularity. Art Matthews’ vocals soar and growl while drums pound and guitars howl and yelp in that special way that grunge guitars do.

One could say that the band lack commitment, but that would only be a comment on the lyric ‘I like you madly,’ which suggests that the singer cannot bring himself to admitting actually loving the person, but then, I guess that is part of the appeal of the song. The band later relocated to the US and changed the spelling of its name to Just Jinjer, but we will always have this wonderful gem to remember the start of something great.

Where to find it:

All Comes Round – Just Jinger (1997), Colossal, CDBSP 7011
Something For Now – Just Jinger (1998), Colossal, CDCLL 7020
Greatest Hits – Just Jinger (2001), BMG, CDCLL(CLM)7048

You look to me like something new
And I wish that I could talk to you
But you seem tied up
So I’ll leave you
To make your mind up
Is it me or you
I like you madly, like you madly
All the same
I want you to take my
mind to someplace new
Perhaps not now I’m
not meant for you
Perhaps in time you’ll find a way
That I can call you
and see you again
Are you scared to look inside?
Are you scared to read my mind?
Are you scared of what you’ll find?
Don’t be scared, ‘cos I’m alright
I’m alright

(written by Art Matthews)


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