Hot New Mexicans, PURPLE 7, and Middle Children have all put out some of the present decade’s best basement punk (and basement pop) records. A common thread running through all of those titles is Patrick Jennings, who has gained notoriety inside DIY punk circles for exceptionally strong songwriting but has been wildly overlooked outside of those circles. For those fortunate enough to have heard Jennings’ work, they’re aware that anything the songwriter puts out is worthy of some anticipation.
Yet, that anticipation is never quite afforded to artists like Jennings due to the nature of how bands and songwriters in that sphere operate. If you’re not following their personal soundcloud, seeing them test new material on tour in a sweaty dive bar, or they’re not posting new snippets of songs on social media, it’s impossible to know whether new material’s coming at all. When this post was first being written, the included content was the demos of these songs that Jennings had posted to a personal soundcloud. When that playlist was pulled, it was hard to know whether to be doubtful or hopeful.
Thankfully, a short while late, Immediate arrived as a fully-formed record, with the earlier songs fleshed out in full band arrangements. And, as always, the songs continue to impress. A personal friend once told me that when Jennings sang, they believed him. That air of conviction has bled through all of the songwriter’s past work and continues to peek through on Immediate. There’s a rough-hewn scrappiness that’s served as Jennings’ trademark, accentuating and strengthening a constant that’s served the material to perfection: mid-fi production.
Production value’s not typically an overwhelmingly important detail but there’s a very GBV-esque quality to all of Jennings’ materials that seems to exist so harmoniously with the actual material that its next to impossible not to view it as another instrument when it comes to the work on display. With some brief exceptions, it’s become an unlikely trademark that continues to pay rewarding dividends, lending those records a cassette-like quality that honors the history of multiple genres.
On Immediate, Jennings continues and expands on where the songwriter’s last solo effort, Careful Now, left off. Most of these are mid-tempo basement pop rockers that draw from punk, Americana, and soul to congeal into something singular. From top to bottom, Immediate is unmistakably the work of Jennings, who has cultivated a fascinating identity in a pocket of the music world that tends to bleed together.
A record that lives up to its title, Immediate is a record that sinks in right away, a brusque and enjoyable ride through pointed narratives and straightforward tempos. Immediate revels in the mundane and takes care in its embellishments, proving yet again that Jennings deserves far more attention. While this post isn’t nearly enough, at least it might be a start. Don’t miss out on this one.
Listen to Immediate below and download a copy here.