Inuusiq/Life

The Jerry Cans

Aakuluk Music, 2017

http://www.thejerrycans.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/25/2017

If you fancy yourself a connoisseur of all things unusual or even bizarre in the world of music, then you'll need to sit right down and listen to this third album from The Jerry Cans. An outfit from Iqaluit, Nunavut (that's way up in Canada), the band utilizes traditional throat singing with various versions of indie rock and even some reggae and country to produce an album that is highly unique. nbtc__dv_250

The album quickly establishes its greatness with the first track “Ukiuq,” where mysterious, dark vocals repeat under a warm, folk song complete with “whoa oh ohs” that later picks up with quick violins and a fuller Americana explosion. “Iqqanaijarumanngittunga” follows and is an anthemic acoustic strummer with dual gender vocals, reminding us of Frank Turner's best work. Next up comes the heavy throat singing and fiddle of “Nirliit.” One of the most traditional songs on the album, it does eventually build into a more familiar rock song with throbbing bass. The pace is then stripped back with the piano ballad “Arnalukaq,” which takes a look at the issue of all too common domestic abuse in the Arctic, and brings with it emotionally stirring beauty. 

The Jerry Cans is nothing if not diverse, as evidenced by the rugged “Makiliqta,” which is both gritty and gorgeous, and “Paniarjuk,” a straight-ahead country tune with fiddle acrobatics. “Tusaavit,” on the other hand, is a vocally strong campfire song, with a serene, almost cinematic quality behind the singing. The album ends exactly how it begins, only in a different language. “Northern Lights” is the English version of the first song “Ukiuq,” which is just fine with me as it is one of the best offerings here.

Even though the primary language here is Inuktitut, and the most known influences would be Celtic sounds or some lineage from The Pogues, there is universal greatness here evident in the rich instrumentation, powerful musicianship, and unique grace. It's very unlikely you've heard anything quite like this, but I feel quite certain you'll want to hear it again and again.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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