joncro’s ‘richmond station’ rebels against colonial history with punk rock fury
By Nathan Leigh
July 23, 2021
“Can you hear it
Through the trees.
On the Caribbean sea.”
Throughout the wrecking ball of punk rock trio JONCRO’s latest, there’s a celebration of rebellion. Personal, spiritual, and historical. The songs in turn each interrogate the centuries of colonial terrors and displacements that led to where singer and guitarist Daniel G. Wilson is today. Starting from the deeply felt post-hardcore of the twin openers “Passa Passa” and “Sakura,” Wilson and co work their way from the individual to the collective, finding strength in the wisdom and perseverence of those who came before. The album wisely never rests on a theme or style, running from raw noise to the delicate subdued fury of “Villa de la Vega (Exile),” each song acting as a new answer to the question: “how the hell did we get here?”
Throughout Richmond Station, JONCRO shows themselves adept at that most essential skills of punk rock songwriting: making the personal political and the political personal. By the time the album hits the stellar anthem “Cudjoe (Maroon War)” recounting the rebellion of Jamaican hero Cudjoe, the lines between past, present, personal, political, form into a single point. It’s an impressive feat and to do it in service of so many songs that all stand out on their own, is almost unheard of in DIY. When the album closes with the meditation of “Mama,” it truly feels like a journey.
Wilson explains: “It’s a collection of the most personal songs we have ever released. I hope that people come away from this album with a sense of catharsis. On a more macro scale, I am also hoping that this album acts as proof that there is no singular way to be Jamaican, Caribbean, or Latinx and that it is possible to embrace your heritage on your own terms and still rock out.”
Follow the band on Instagram @joncroband for more.
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