Whenever I hear the term “indie music” a soundtrack not unlike this song plays in my head. Before the term became a genre in its own right, one that suggested 5 guys in skinny, designer jeans, leather jackets and sporting complicated hair styles, it was an attitude, a loose ideology shared by bands trying to navigate a path between grassroots obscurity and music industry compliance and thankfully I am old enough to understand the difference. Anyway, Step By Step chimes with the original, post-punk meaning of the term and does so effortlessly.
And for a band with a sound, in my mind at least, so synonymous with a certain musical era, they manage to remain fresh sounding and relevant. Maybe when you cease to be influenced by fad or fashion, if indeed they ever were, you transcend it and free yourself up to make music which feels untethered to any particular scene or era. Maybe, and this is the more likely, The Jasmine Minks are just great song writers.
Step by Step is a clever blend of solid riffs, 60’s infused, jangling rhythms and delicate peripheral sounds, all driven by bass and beats which do just enough to anchor everything in place and topped off by infectious melodicism and ear-worming choruses. Its musical partner in crime, Gravity, is a subtler affair, skipping along rather than chiming above the sonic highway, looking the listener directly in the eye and reminding us to grow old disgracefully with a knowing wink.
Aficionados of music trivia will already know that The Jasmine Minks were the first band to be signed by Alan McGee’s fledgling Creation label back in 1984 and though other bands such as The House of Love, Primal Scream and of course, Oasis, took the limelight, it’s nice to know that a band who started gigging the year I left college are still putting out such great music. Maybe in the whole “it’s better to burn out than fade away” argument, there is a third option that gets overlooked. So let’s raise a glass to keeping on doing what you have always done so well!