The Jonx

My, how they’ve grown… I’ve been a fan of The Jonx for a few years now, from back when the band was a member or two larger than it is now (ex-Jonxers Shawn Durrani and Viki Kenner have moved on to other things), and heck, I remember guitarist Stu Smith from back in both our college days; even back then, he was making some quirky, entertaining music.

These days, though, they’ve evolved from humble beginnings as a handful of like-minded music-making friends into a band that’s honestly one of the best musical acts going in Houston today (and no, I don’t say that lightly). Over the course of their past several releases — 2003’s debut self-titled EP, the next year’s The Wrath of Shawn EP, full-length The Return of the Death of the Legacy of the Revenge of the Jonx, and 2006’s No Turn Jonx Red — they’ve evolved into a band that’s insanely tight, pounding out their ferocious brand of post-punk rock with machinelike precision.

There’re elements of Fugazi, June of 44, The Vehicle Birth, or NoMeansNo all thrown in, but at the end of the day, the Jonx put it together to make something that’s damned original. Listening to the band’s albums makes me think of my days back at KTRU, combing through all those old punk albums my poor small-town Texas ass missed out on back in the day; every song’s a freakin’ floor-stomping anthem to postmodern disaffection.

Best of all, they manage to do the art-rock thing without coming off like high-minded snobs; the Jonx are smart as hell, certainly, and they come up with some challenging, complex, noisy bits, to be sure, but they do it all while remaining, well, basically pretty normal guys who like to have fun and play loud rock music. The closest analogue I can think of, really, is the Minutemen, who also happened to pull off some truly weird, groundbreaking shit in the realm of rock despite being a trio of kids from a little nowhere town in California.

It helps that the three guys in the band, guitarist Stu, drummer Danny Mee (who, yes, also happens to be a talented writer in his own right and who sometimes writes for this here e-zine), and bassist Trey Lavigne — everybody sings at one point or another — never seem to take themselves too seriously. On songs like “Cashews” (where Mee channels Lavigne and proclaims that he has a job that pays him in cashews, among other things) and “I Party To Celebrate Friendship,” for two, the Jonxers poke fun at themselves (and everybody else), which is a good thing, because post-punk in general can get awful dour and too-serious at times.

So, there you go. The Jonx may not be everybody’s cup of tea, no, but dammit, they should be, if there’s any justice in the world. Go see ’em — and while you’re at it, cross yr fingers that they stick around this oftentimes soul-sucking, talent-devouring city we live in for a while longer, at least…

Post by . This entry was posted on Friday, September 28th, 2007. Filed under Past Bands.

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