Friday, March 29, 2013

FDF Volume 3 Issue 298 - Jawbox - Novelty

Album - Novelty
Artist - Jawbox

Key Players – Adam Wade – drums. Bill Barbot – guitar, backing vocals. Kim Colletta – bass. J.Robbins – guitar, vocals.

Produced By – Iain Burgess
Release Date – May 1992

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Combing the shelves one day. Simple as that.

Overview – Jawbox was formed in Washington D.C. By 1989 J.Robbins, who was in the longest running DC punk band “Government Issue” had joined forces with Colletta and Wade. They'd record a demo and single was released. They'd continue to work and tour and would get singed to a major label where they'd release two records more. By 1996 they found their label was not pleased with “no single” and they were dropped. They'd disband in 1997.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)-  “Cutoff” opens up the 12 song 43 minute albums almost as expected, with some guitars and thumping bass. After the verse they buzz saw the guitar lines. The dual layers of guitars are a nice touch. One is melodic, the other choppy. Wade keeps it in check and Colletta seems to find an easy and tight groove on the bass. A quick solo near the ends wraps it all up. That same bite comes in “Tracking. Colletta's bass has a bit more of a ping/ring to to it whole Robbins and Barbot seem to go right after it. Robbins has that gruff howl to his voice, but it suits it all perfect. The tempo keeps up, as expected as Wade counts off “Dreamless” and everyone comes in. The two guitar attack continues to bode well and keep it all interesting. “Channel 3” still has the big band feel/sound, but the tempo is a little laid back. Its by no means “light” but a nice change of pace. The band seems to balance the backing vocals well here, and Colletta and Wade shine as solid carriers of the flow. “Spiral Fix” is even more quiet at the outset. Just Robbins and a lone guitar, then the full band comes in on the down beat and it has a swirling wall of guitar and slow bass/drum line. They do this a few times, leading to both a haunting and chaotic feel. “Linkwork” goes back towards the heavy feel. The drums from Wade are on mark and the dual guitars really grab the listener. Ranging from long chords, to the biting sharp notes. Its right at you on the attack. “Chump” continues with the rapid attack and Wade seems to get the biggest workout, seemingly all over the drum kit. Colletta seems to be the lone instrument as “Static” begins. Robbins speaks the lyrics and then Wade gets it going. Barbot jumps in and we are back in full rock mode. This song feels the most “clean” to me, the balance is great and the band seems to be doing some other things. Just stands out upon the listen. The go after it again on “Spit-Bite” with Wade taking the lead. Robbins there at the start with the guitars seemingly under the drums. Colletta's bass rings over the vocals as well, and it has a long delay to “take off” and with a squeal it does. One of the stand out tracks on the record. The anger is there on “Send Down” as Wade is all over his kit. Robbins has more aggression in his voice for the verse. Around the bridge section he eases off and Wade gets on the ride cymbal. Colletta's bass has a cool fill under it all as Barbot and Robbins trade off one another.  “Tongues” has the snap on the drum kit and driving tempo we've gotten accustomed to. Closing it out is “Ones and Zeros”. A great closer that keeps with the tempo and feel of the record. Its right at you, leaving you exhausted and excited all at the same time.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 1997. In 2009 the band announced they'd reform for a one night only performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. The band would perform “Savory”.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take – This is a hard and very clean record. It is well produced and its easy to hear how they influenced other bands at the time as well was today. There is urgency to it all that doesn't seem to have aged. It really is a pretty solid straight up rock record. Maybe I don't know “punk” but this just seems more polished and focused on the instruments. Grab this one, its solid.

Their site on Dischord

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
Static (Live)

Buy it direct from Dischord

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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