As a newish band, The Jins have used the year 2023 quite wisely. They released their sophomore LP, It’s a Life, at the end of June via 604 Records. A few million streams later, the band is turning into a known commodity. There’s a lot of ’90s within The Jins’ sound; it’s got a lot of the crushing guitars and attitude from that era. It’s a Life was even mixed by Adam Kasper, one of the few producers that needs no introduction (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, etc.). They don’t hide the fact that the ’90s influence plays a big role in their sound. Those crushing guitars, loud vocals, and pop aesthetics really never get old. So why shy away from them?
Formed in 2015, The Jins features singer and guitarist Ben Larsen, bassist Hudson Partridge, and drummer Jamie Warnock. They’ve opened for Yung Heazy, Hockey Dad, Dead Ghosts, The Velvetines, Rare Americans, and Buckcherry, with many more shows to come. What’s nice about The Jins is that they aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. They’re proud of their influences and are more than happy to carry the torch when it comes to classic alternative.
Speaking of the ’90s, The Jins have joined us today for some of their top personal selections when it comes to their favourite singles of the last decade of the 20th century.
Built To Spill – “Carry the Zero”
Ben Larsen: “There are so many great heart-wrenching indie songs that came out of the ’90s, but this track has always stood out to me. The soft, desperate vocals and off-beat strumming pattern mold together to communicate a hopelessly raw feeling of sincerity and loss. It’s a very vulnerable, genuine song that has always resonated with me.”
Elliott Smith – “Christian Brothers”
Larsen: “What else is there to say about Elliott Smith that hasn’t already been said? Cemented into the indie rock canon eternally after his features in Good Will Hunting, he really was one of the greatest songwriters and guitarists of the era. This track’s persistent guitar chugging with angry, angst-driven vocals is always a powerful listen. It’s definitely a favourite of mine, and Heatmiser’s version of the song (Elliott’s band before his solo career) is noteworthy as well. It offers a more visceral mix with heavy, sludgy guitars storming in at the end to plunge you further into the darkness of Elliott’s psyche.”
Boards of Canada – “Roygbiv”
Larsen: “I listen to a lot of IDM and ambient music in my downtime, so I think it’s worth throwing in this track by one of my favorite artists. The warm pads and quirky percussive samples carry the song through an uplifting nostalgic cloud like you’re hanging out inside an educational computer game from the ’90s, which is actually very relaxing and enjoyable for me and apparently a lot of other people.”
Ween – “Freedom of 76”
Hudson Partridge: “I would pick three Ween songs for this list, but I won’t for the sake of variety. The band is so good at using genre as a jumping-off point and then filtering it through their personalities to create something wholly unique. This song has both band members bringing their A-game to the table. It has an amazing chord progression and killer vocals.”
The Magnetic Fields – “Born on a Train
Partridge: “Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields has such a way with lyricism and storytelling, and this one in particular really hits the spot for me. Here it is a Victorian vampire story through the lens of an American drifter, but somehow also relatable.”
Dinosaur Jr. – “Feel the Pain”
Partridge: “I always find myself coming back to this song. The dynamics and guitar on this one make a song this angsty and sad feel so good at the same time. Funny enough, all three of these songs are from 1994, guess it was a good year for music.”
Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Jamie Warnock: “I appreciate the raw energy that the band infused into the recording. It truly revolutionized a generation.”
Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”
Warnock: “This song evokes a strong sense of nostalgia for my childhood. It used to receive heavy airplay on the radio and continues to do so. It holds a special place in my heart as one of the first songs I ever heard on the radio.”
The Fugees – “Killing Me Softly”
Warnock: “This song is undeniably a masterpiece, and anyone who thinks otherwise is simply mistaken. It has a timeless quality that resonates with listeners across generations.”