SINGLE REVIEW: "LEMON" BY SOFT JOCKS
After enchanting every ear with their brilliant debut EP, Soft Jocks are back with their new single “Lemon”. The first release from the three-piece after signing to Sheffield’s Elephant Arch Records, “Lemon” sees a minute and 39 seconds of perfected bubblegum punk that reminds you why everyone falls in love with them
Soft Jocks hold a special place in my heart, and clearly, they’re living in a lot of hearts. Following a string of live shows pre-COVID supporting the likes of DITZ and Polevaulter, and a damn near perfect debut EP, the group caught the eyes of many but especially burgeoning label, Elephant Arch Records. Having not even had the pleasure of seeing the group live, only hearing their recorded music, the label knew that Soft Jocks had to be the first act on their roster and so got to work on pressing vinyl for “Lemon,” and an upcoming sophomore EP, Sinking Dingers. When I first heard of the news, to say I was excited would be a disservice to the depth of emotion I felt. As a general rule for myself, I try not to cover the same artist or group multiple times as to not play favourites but when it comes to Soft Jocks, anytime I hear their music I feel my hands wandering to the nearest keyboard to write about why just about everyone needs to blast their entire short discography at every available opportunity.
A short burst of the Soft Jocks sound, “Lemon” is only a minute and change worth of music. For most bands that would barely get you a couple choruses in, but the Jocks know how to trim the fat and leave you with only the necessary. As the first few bars of instrumental, bright, garage rock kick in, you instantly know you’re listening to Soft Jocks. That doesn’t mean, though, that they’re just rehashing the same ideas as their EP. As the vocals come in, “You’re sticky sweet and stick so wholesome,” there’s an unexpected and subtle air of melancholy that starts to float through the song. While still bright and punchy, there’s an evident emotional complexity to the track.
Even as the chorus kicks in, with ‘lemon’ being uniquely sung to make it rhyme with ‘come on’, that atmosphere lingers. In many ways, it feels like I’m being thrown back to my teen years experiencing the end of a perfect summer. Energised, happy, and yet, strangely wistful. I found myself hitting play on Lemon more times than I could count just to try and get to the bottom of why it makes me feel the way I do, but after a point, I just had to accept that Soft Jocks are masterful writers who can do so much with their established sound.
With the track not even hitting the two-minute mark, you’d be a fool to not give it the time it rightfully deserves. I adore this track and I have a hard time seeing how anyone could resist the Jocks so go out and fall in love with them if you haven’t already! Their second EP just can’t come soon enough.
Writing by Varun Govil