Tag Archives: Alternative Rock

Album Review: Jawbox – “Jawbox” (1996)

26 Mar

Jawbox’s eponymous last album is a blazing exploration of the sonic landscape that comes with Selling Out to the Man circa 1996. ‘Jawbox’ finds the band ditching their ruthlessly abrasive brand of DC hardcore for a series of startlingly MTV-able post-punk tracks that sound more ‘Breed’ than Big Black. The change could be chalked up to Atlantic Records’ less-than-punk motives, but, more likely, as lead vocalist J. Robbins notices in ‘Spoiler,’ “vindication [wasn’t] what it used to be” for a band that, after three studio albums and five years of touring, were finally fully realized (with a record, aptly, titled after themselves) – but not through hardcore punk. ‘Jawbox’ is an inescapably commercial record with an inescapably commercial sound.

Losing the harsh discord that characterized iconic-if-messy debut ‘Grippe’ and critically acclaimed sophomore record ‘Novelty’ may have cut down on the adrenal force that only cacophonously ugly guitar riffs and rumbling bass lines can really deliver, but Jawbox is by no means any less articulate on this post-punk swan song. The cryptically caustic lyrics on the album are odes to drug abuse and dysfunction that craft a harrowingly beautiful alternate universe for themselves through unending tangles of metaphors in songs like “Iodine” and “Mirrorful.” Matching these lyrics with dark, seething music that taps eerily at spider-webs of verses and plunges into radiantly catchy choruses with a startling force makes “Jawbox” one of the best records to come out of the DC scene of the 1990s – even if it indicates a movement away from the scene’s hardcore roots and into more commercial territory.


Track of the Day: 13.01.11

13 Jan

PJ Harvey: Good Fortune

With a new album on the horizon, we here at The Quilted Generation are falling over ourselves for a chance to listen to Ms Harvey. A quick Google Image search will reveal why. Actually, the fact Ms Harvey is a knockout is a mere bonus to the fact that she has made some landmark albums in her time. Not least of which was the millennium years ‘Stories From The City, Stories From the Sea’. A beautifully frank tirade that garnered much success for the Dorset darling.

We’re hoping that 2011’s ‘Let England Shake’ will help both us fall in love with Ms Harvey all over again but also that it helps gather a new fluster of fans to breathe new life into the passionate songstress. Judging by past endeavours we can’t see any reason why it’s too much to ask for a return to form.

Fingers, legs, toes, and everything else crossed.