The promotional flyers for the new EP from JinnyOops!, “Mother Shock!,” come with a strange tagline: Minna Okan kara Umarerunchauka? You can translate that from Osaka-dialect Japanese into English as: “Isn’t everyone born from a mother?” This fixation on mothers and birth may stem from the fact that this is the all-girl trio’s first release after two brass players left the band.
Without the brass, the trio’s sound is more focused and leans more toward pop-punk, and indeed, they might fit nicely on a bill with Toronto band Die Mannequin. The sharpness of the riffs and the vocal melodies on “Mother Shock!” are apparent from first listen, and they’re supported by strong drumming and bass — with the latter giving most of the songs their hooks. But in contrast with the poppier-sounding punk, the lyrics are quite gloomy. There’s a strong apathetic mood that fills the EP, with only an occasional reprieve with lyrics such as “Let tragedy become power.”
The strongest track on the EP is “Raimei Shocking.” The song almost defines the trio’s style: simple composition and beats focusing on vocals. However, the vocals are so focused that they don’t change much for the rest of the EP. “Inner Hysteria” is loud and fast, while “Tenonaka” is more of a ballad, but the vocal style in both doesn’t change much. Some variation — or even backup help from the band — could have made what are solid tracks sound more expressive.
The biggest impression “Mother Shock!” leaves, though, is the idea that JinnyOops! must put on a crazy live show. Three girls thrashing away with the audience shouting along to every chorus? It’s the perfect image of teenage hedonism, and perhaps it’s best to leave mom at home.
JinnyOops! will perform at the “Mother Shock!” release party at Shimokitazawa Daisy Bar in Tokyo on Dec. 3; and Namba Rockets in Osaka on Dec. 16. Both shows start at 6:30 p.m., tickets cost ¥2,000 in advance and ¥2,300 at the door. For more information, visit www.jinnyoops.com.