AJJ

The Bible 2

Written by: LF on 27/04/2017 16:51:31

Since their last album, "Christmas Island" from 2014, folk punk outfit Andrew Jackson Jihad have grown tired of their name for various reasons and in 2016 decided to change it officially into the abbreviation AJJ that fans already use. Under that name they released this album, their sixth full-length, and they still sound distinctly like themselves: angsty and existentially themed lyrics being at the forefront throughout the record on a backdrop of jittery lo-fi indie folk.

Many of the songs are word-heavy and moody and seem to tell a very personal story about growing up and awknowledging the ugly parts of life. Eccentrically cute melodies and sing-a-long-friendly repeatable lines are present everywhere but it's the more thoughtful and slow-moving songs "Small Red Boy" and especially the piano-ballad "No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread" (which is also referenced on the album cover) that steal the picture with their dark moods and intense stories. Album single and highlight "Junkie Church" has a slightly more light-hearted sound but grabs you by the throat anyway when vocalist Sean Bonnette paints sad and bizarre pictures in his clear and desperately quivering voice, like "You were way too intoxicated to breathe / So I used your ribs as ladders and I climbed up on your chest / And I jumped up and down just like a trampoline".

Shorter and to-the-point songs like the synth-heavy "American Garbage" and the fast and aggressive "Terrifyer" with sharp guitars stand out as well though, in lyricism as well as in the different aspects of the punk-influenced folksy music they show off. That sound can get a bit old in its simplicity but AJJ collectively keep ahead of the curve throughout this album and the equal parts emotional and amusing thirty-minute rollercoaster ride is over before you know it. Some songs come across as stronger than others but overall it's a good record that has some intense new material that will surely shine when played live.

Download: Junkie Church; No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread; Terrifyer
For The Fans Of: The Mountain Goats, Conor Oberst, The Front Bottoms, Kevin Devine, Titus Andronicus
Listen: facebook.com/ajjtheband

Release date 18.08.2016
SideOneDummy Records

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