Jumping Juniperby Roger Young, images by Kevin Goss-Ross / 14.04.2010
I am now going to spend the next three hundred words failing to describe the music of Coals Of Juniper. Joel, Jude and Jono play instrumental rock in a way that makes old rockers behave like jazz fans, nodding their heads and shouting “yeah!” or letting slow “sheeeeesssh’s escape from their lips as the boys pull off one technical mind fuck after another with the confidence of men who have being playing for decades; which they haven’t, seeing as the average age of Coals Of Juniper is about nineteen.
It was a sit down gig and there was no real space for dancing at Zacks on the night they played, but I wonder how a party crowd would have reacted, most instrumental rock bands (like albinobeach or Us Kids Know) tend to leave audiences standing in confusion, like they need lyrics to dance to, but Coals Of Juniper deliver such a tight driving set that it would be hard not to mosh to it, clearly demonstrated by the furious head bobbing from the seated and from those standing on the sidelines, but it’s late on a Sunday night and the audience is too thin for a critical mass of people to get in front of stage.
It’s not necessary, really, because Coals provide their own critical mass of sound, complicated bass, drum, guitar switchovers pulled off with ease and enthusiasm, they stand on stage smiling but restrained, while the music does all the work. It’s not technical wankery though, large sections of Coals music is straight up tight rolling pounding rock, the kind you can get lost in wave after wave, the kind I did get lost in causing me to forget to take notes because that’s what Coals Of Juniper do, they make music that convinces you to stop thinking.
All images © Kevin Goss-Ross