Like many of the bands that came out of DC and in particular Dischord Records. Jawbox had an instant and lasting impression on me. Through the years I've had the pleasure of interview the band (at Maxwells) and years later with co founder J. Robbins. (one of my favorite producers/engineers)
Over the last three decades the band has stayed with me. The albums, the songs and the opportunities to see them at the two clubs, CBGB's and Maxwell's, that remained the most consistent for me throughout my life. With that said, all of that pleasure has been derived from the albums 'Grippe', 'Novelty' and 'For Your Own Special Sweetheart'. That was until yesterday.
For about two years now I've been on a mission to tame my overwhelming CD collection. During that two year period and maybe longer I've turned my attention and passion back towards exclusively collecting and listening to vinyl records. Having finally thrown out my old Yamaguchi CD player. Compact Discs have become useless to me. Yesterday as I went back to the well to purge more discs from my collection. I came across the self titled 1996 release on Atlantic Records subsidiary TAG. The bands fourth and ultimately final full length record. It was the same copy given to me outside of CBGB's in 1996. While I can't really recall the reasons I was entrusted with a copy. I know for certain, I have not given it a listen in almost twenty years now. Imagine the feeling pulling this promotional copy with it's obnoxiously stamped cover and broken case. Being the music hoarder / archivist I've become. I had to download it to my computer before even thinking of parting with it.
As the opening track 'Mirror' came on. My ears tingled and my eyes widen. much like they did when I first revisited Jawbreaker's 'Dear You'. The album that is often referred to as their most commercial endeavor sound like gold on the ears.
Everything you loved about Jawbox is up front and present. The angst, emotion urgency and intelligence. All recorded just minutes from where I'm sitting at Water Music in Hoboken. Considering how I've been making up for lost time over the past two days. I thought it fitting to share some thoughts and praise. I highly recommend dipping in to the vault and give this one a thorough listen. Hell, I'm putting it right here so you can do so. What are you waiting for. Happy listening, James Damion