Jono’s Mate Sheep are a freshly formed band from NSW’s North Coast who have offered up their debut EP, A Stroke of Insight.
Jono’s Mate Sheep tender four philosophical punk tracks that create a striking sonic ambience in combination with experimental and introspective lyrics.
A Stroke of Insight gives us a fresh glimpse of the band that Jono’s Mate Sheep are quickly becoming, proving that there is a bright future ahead for the talented four-piece.
From humble beginnings as an acoustic duo, Jono’s Mate Sheep has quickly evolved over just a few short months. Forming in May of 2019 and labelling themselves an “epic punk rock bunch of sad sacks,” there is no arguing with that description. Listening to the band, it becomes immediately apparent that they can evoke so much emotion with their sound before lyrics even come into play.
Opening track A Stroke of Insight is just one short minute of instrumentals, holding an emotional heaviness that fills the air. Airy guitars will leave you floating, before percussion enters and brings you back down to earth.
The World’s Tiniest House is an opportunity for Jono’s Mate Sheep to boast their immense storytelling skills. Instrumentals build as you are drawn to the picture that every lyric paints, growing bigger and clearer over the course of the song. It is clear that the band approaches their songwriting in a permanent state of melancholy, reflecting on personal experiences as well as outward observations of the world and its darkness.
While the fresh four-piece might be compared to other contemporary punk bands like Luca Brasi or Dear Seattle, Jono’s Mate Sheep deliver vocals that sound distinctly more Australian. This is a welcome sonic shift away from the American undertones we often find in current Australian punk. This is evident in the EP’s third track Chaos, which picks up the pace in comparison to the first two songs. Chaos is strongly driven by percussion, teasing a sound which is meant for live performance. Because of this, it is no surprise that in their short time together the group have already played a number of packed out shows in both NSW and Queensland.
Despite being fresh on the scene, each track we’ve heard from Jono’s Mate Sheep works to prove that the group has struck a perfect chemistry, amplifying their pensive lyrical vulnerability with dynamic melodies and floating instrumentals which expel a stirring aura. Earthing Song is the final track from A Stroke of Insight and is most certainly the highlight. The sound of thunder at the track’s commencement displays an innovative approach to conveying feelings of struggle desolation and as the track builds, so too does your attachment to the band’s unique sound.
A Stroke of Insight is certainly one of our favourite NSW releases of 2020 so far. Listen to the EP below.