August 26, 2009

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Can't Maintain
My Thoughts: Love More (<3)

It was a long winding road of connections with other bands that led me to Andrew Jackson Jihad initially, but it was well worth it. The first record I heard was a split with Ghost Mice, then a year or so (maybe less) after I heard that, his first huge album, People Who Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People in the World, came out, and it was freaking awesome.

This is their first full length since that album. I can only imagine the pressure to repeat the success. Except that with the scene that Sean (vocals, guit) and Ben (bass, back voc) are in, things like that don't even matter a little bit. These Arizona cats, along with their scene mates French Quarter, Foot Ox, and the rest of the regulars at Trunk Space, make music not for success, but because there's no other option.

The previous LPs and EPs have Sean and Ben playing their songs as fast as their well trained hands can play, yelping and screeching the lyrics as loud as they can. This record shows a bit of a step in a different direction for the duo. There are slower songs, sometimes with Neutral Milk Hotel amounts of accompaniment. The music was always, and still is, a method to tell the stories these men live, but there is more focus, it feels, on the music itself.

But AJJ fans need not worry, because the lyrics are just as charging and self-hating-but-hopeful as always. See, AJJ's lyrics are so engaging because what the cats of AJJ talk about is how much they feel like they're not so great, but in a way that people can relate to, so the over all effect is not feelings of pity, but simpatico. Another spastic and raucous smash LP.

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Love Will Fuck Us Apart
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Heartilation
Andrew Jackson Jihad - We Didn't Come Here To Rock

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