Who the fuck is Jerry? Is it a band or one dude who for some reason thinks his plain name deserves to be held in the same regard as Cher or Beyonce? My initial thought was “Jeez, what a woefully un-commercial name,” which was officially confirmed when it became almost impossible to find a musical artist named Jerry in the enormous vacuum that we call the internet. As soon as you hear this EP, you’ll see that this is the point. Jerry are, in fact, a band who are so playful and devoid of any pretensions that they probably just said “Fuck it, let’s just call ourselves Jerry” without any real reason. In this era of extreme narcissism, their style is immediately refreshing. How Jerry packages themselves also doesn’t matter because Ordinary Type completely stands on its own as a bizarre, fun, and ultimately catchy piece of post-punk at its finest.
As it’s now been determined Jerry is not one dude but four beautiful weirdos from the UK. World domination is very much not in their sights, considering how hard it is to find them, and because this is indie music at its most experimental and goofy. Case in point being that they might be the first band since Blue Oyster Cult to feature a cowbell so prominently. During its brisk, under ten-minute running time, I felt like dancing like a maniac but with the sneaking suspicion, I might be experiencing some kind of breakdown. Ordinary Type’s angular and abrasive style will very much knock you off your axis and after the first few play through’s have you wondering “What the fuck was that?” Like falling off a mechanical bull, it’s one hell of a crash.
Herky-jerky rhythm’s, shouted vocals, and booty-shaking bass lines is the name of the game here, although there is also an amazing amount of tonal diversity in such a short amount of time. There is a barely-contained sense of aggression and confrontation in opening track “Ideals” and “Anxiety” definitely conjures feelings of a fight or flight response gone haywire. It’s sometimes hard to decipher what these songs are about, but each title gives you an idea of what the overall feeling is supposed to be.
My absolute favourite track, “Drunk and Disorderly,” sounds…well…wasted beyond belief! The instrumentation is a demented waltz that is dangerously close to toppling over. The music masterly compliments the lyrics, which ridicule a bitter and middle-aged man, whose love of the sauce gives him a podium to spew bile over everyone. If that doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time then there is still the slightly more straightforward, and ultra-catchy “Foreign Exchange,” which feels to me like the wonderful fear that comes with being out of your comfort zone.
So, in the end, I’m no closer to discovering who Jerry are as an entity, but I feel this sense of mystery is part of their product. No matter how much you enjoy them, you are still being kept at arm’s length. In this way, listening to Ordinary Type is like doing shots with a stranger. It’s exhilarating, over before you know it and leaves you wanting more. You can take this to be a negative thing, but I feel like I’m happily on the edge of my seat waiting for their next crazy song.
Mark my words, one day they will be mentioned in the same breath as similar bands like Parquet Courts, The Strokes and maybe even Talking Heads, and no one will ever again ask “who the fuck is Jerry?”
Written by Shawn Thicke
*edited by Danielle Kenedy