Friday, October 19, 2007

Jawbreaker (mega post)

Alright here's the deal. I'm fucking young (in contrast to some of these guys anyway). I'm only 20 so I never saw about 2/3 of the bands that I love. I'm not one of those guys that thinks "the classics are always going to be better" because there is a constant wave of awesome music thats coming out every year, but there are certain bands and records that are completely timeless that I'm jealous people got to hear for the first time before the internet took quite a bit of the magic out of records and live shows. Jawbreaker is one of those bands that I am quite envious of people older than me for being able to hear and experience when it was fresh and there weren't 4 or 5 tribute albums to them.

That being said there are 3 Jawbreaker records to me that are a completely necessary listen and the beginning of a turning point in punk rock. Jawbreaker is the beginning of a new branch of which so many bands took influence and went in their vein of really deep, emotive style of punk as opposed to following the "loud/fast" rules. Sure other bands had done it before (late 80's DC comes to mind) but none did it with the sort of beat influence, seriously depressing lyrics, and intelligence that Blake had.

Jawbreaker - Unfun
Unfun is the first LP they recorded and easily their most underrated. This album starts off with one of the best love songs ever. In the history of music. In the history of humanity. As I said earlier if you haven't put "Want" on any mix tape you've made for a girl/guy re-think your sexuality.

Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy
24 Hour Revenge therapy is probably their most popular as it has a good two thirds of the bands "hits". Songs like "The Boat Dreams from the Hill", "Boxcar" and "Do You Still Hate Me" are easily some of my personal favorites. Only complaint; too short.

Jawbreaker - Bivouac
My least favorite but thats not really saying much because Jawbreaker, in my opinion anyway, never really put out a bad song. These songs are just sort of inbetween everything else they've ever done and doesn't really have anything that stands out. Blakes lyrics are still just as fascinating its just that musically they seem to be stuck between the poppier sense of Unfun, the seemingly "harder" parts of 24 HRT and Dear You's experimentalism.

Jawbreaker - Dear You

Dear You is probably their most "sophisticated" as it most resembles Jets to Brazil which, for some god awful reason, people think is better? I mean don't get me wrong I like both but come on. Another reason I can't help but relate this to Jets to Brazil is the vocals due to the fact that its post-surgery. Definitely great album though.


Blogger blend77 said...

awesome post jeff. Youre fucking funny. "Im so young" haha!! give it a few years, time always wins. so does gravity.

what about Bivouac? No love for Bivouac?

12:53 PM  

awesome, this kinda ties in...i just posted a J Church blog...singer Lance is seriously ill, and needs help, please read, everyone...Jawbreaker and J Church were easily two faves growing up...

12:56 PM  


1:33 PM  
Blogger Jeff Chord said...

Bivouac was my least favorite and I cannot locate the mp3's on my computer. Our Fucking Boundaries, can I use your link in the post?

1:42 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

oh, jeff, i will get that first Enigk album for you this weekend, i have it at home. i have to find it...

1:49 PM  

of course...i found it online, anyhow..

have at it!

2:38 PM  

this is rad


Chris Bauermeister plays in this...

2:53 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

dammit, tried to leave a comment a couple of hours ago but my internet connection must have skipped out on me...

Anyway, great post Jeff. Personally, if find it hard to top Dear You. I searched it out, found it in HMV - the only place in Dublin that had it - and paid a ridiculous 'US import' price. But it was extremely well worth it. Anyway, that being my first of their albums, I'm kinda wedded to the production values.

You're right about Jets to Brazil - they're good, but they're a different kind of band. Even more of a showcase for Schwarzenbach's major in English!

Oh, and as resident Kerouac scholar, I should mention that there's a sample of Kerouac reading one of his poems on one of the songs on 24 Hour. I can't remember which poem or which song, and WIkipedia isn't obliging me in assisting my memory.

Anyway; "you don't know what I'm all about; like killing cops and reading Kerouac"

the best part is, that's on both albums...

3:49 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

^ yeah, actually listening to the album would help:

'Condition Oakland'/'October in Railroad Earth'

Well, the name of the poem is from The point is, Jawbreaker is mega-cool

3:53 PM  
Blogger Jeff Chord said...

That line is one of my favorites! Boxcar is such an amazing song.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Walt said...

"Boxcar" isn't that an Atari's song. I kid. I kid. Jawbreaker is awesome though for real.

10:03 PM  
Blogger The Gosub Routine said...

many thanks, as I always wanted to hear this band.

A great little post.


12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its cool that zen really works like "ask and ye shall recieve"... magic!

4:42 AM  
Blogger Jeff Chord said...

"its cool that zen really works like "ask and ye shall recieve"... magic!
If only sex were like this.

4:58 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

right? then we wouldnt need Zen at all...

11:27 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Want = Fuck yeah

5:20 PM  
Blogger nffcnnr said...

One of the Best. Bands. Ever. Legit. Thanks.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous b. brown said...

For me, 'Unfun' has never had competition from other Jawbreaker releases. It's the best one without question. '24 Hour...' is fun, 'Bivouac' as alright and 'Dear You' really really sucks (always thought so), but I'm glad to see you've identified 'Unfun' as underrated with some perfect moves. Props.

Jets To Brazil? Could never get into them. Generic background music for McDonalds commercials.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the link for Unfun isn't working. COuld you re-up?

8:42 AM  
Blogger Chus said...

This is what I think: Jawbreaker

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jawbreaker are one of these bands that took me a long time to get into, even though I never considered them bad, I couldn't quite understand the cult-status they have among many fans, so I tried to understand their music as a whole, and listened excessively to every record they released, and it grew on me.
I'll always have a place in my heart for 'Unfun' though, not because it was my first Jawbreaker record - that being 24 Hour Revenge Therapy - , but because after the first seconds of 'Want', I couldn't stop playing that song again and again, and saying 'yass, yass, yass'.
What I don't really understand is the constant 'Dear You' bashing found online. Dear You is just another classic Jawbreaker record as is Bivouac or Unfun and there are many songs that could also have been found on other records ('Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault' or 'Chemistry' for example), the main difference is the improved production quality and the 'clean' vocals. Maybe most people can't get over songs like 'Accident Prone', which almost have a 'grungy' feel.

Anyway, just my 2 cents

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Dig Me Out Podcast said...

Listen to a podcast review of Jawbreaker's 24 Hour Revenge Therapy on Dig Me Out at, a weekly podcast deedicated to reviewing lost, forgotten and under-appreciated college and indie rock of the 1990s.

9:05 AM  

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