National Cancer Strategy
Welcome back to Radio Lennon, Jinx’s emergency broadcast network, beamed from the heart of the national breakdown. If 2009′s Trauma Themes, Idiot Times was a sandwich board scrawled with songs warning of imminent spiritual, mental and financial collapse, this album takes the form of 13 iodine pills to relieve the symptoms, chief among them being ‘Respect Yourself This Year’, the most unlikely self-empowerment mantra of the decade.
Jinx Lennon is a ranter yes, but he starts with the man in the mirror. In ‘Fight Diabetes’ he fulfills last year’s quote about Caliban pointing the dirty finger with an unmerciful squint at his own reflection (“I was buying tobacco in the corner shop/The young girl behind the counter looked right through me like I’d no cock anymore”) all over a backing track that imagines Kraftwerk cranking out The Normal’s ‘Warm Leatherette’.
There’s no journalist, broadcaster or filmmaker currently documenting the state of the nation quite like Jinx. ‘A Nasty Time On The Dual Carriageway’ is a stomach churning Mad Max-in-the-midlands morality play in which a road control freak gets comeuppance in the form of a couple of auto-thugs (one of whom is unforgettably described as “a scaldy-headed skinny pin-headed brat”), all declaimed over a death disco electro synth pulse. No one comes out of it looking good.
‘Serve A Drink For My Sister’ freeze frames a small town barman caught between breaking underage laws or facing a Smith & Wesson hip replacement job. ‘Nothing But A Leprechaun’ is a screed against rendition-complicit politicos – plus us gobshites who pay their wages (tartly profiled as a race of people “ who will only stand up for a soccer result”). ‘Pink Scrunched Up Thing’ is a revenge saga in which a wrathful Jinx visits a sadistic priest in a recovery home, collects him in his van, and, well, I won’t spoil the ending. Let’s just say it involves the words Black & Decker and a backing track that’s like Grandmaster Flash on happy pills.
So it goes. Stream of consciousness jeremiads set to arcade game sounds and throbbing Suicide grooves. Titles like ‘Bite Your Tongue When the Blue Light Comes’, ‘It’s Not Good to Be Alone In Your House When The Weekend Comes’ and ‘If You Change Your Accent For the City People’.
Jinx Lennon is Ireland’s greatest living Irish songwriter, a Burroughsian state pathologist, bad conscience and protest singer all packed into a dark suit and shades. National Cancer Strategy is another bullseye. Someone give this man the freedom of Dundalk.
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