Jawbreaker – Unfun

February 22, 2010

JawbreakerI think that a band’s overall sound can represent something larger than the band itself. Take Jawbreaker, for instance. Although their sound can be described, in a genre- specific sense, as a mix of early pop-punk (in the vein of Alkaline Trio) and alt-noise (in the vein of Sonic Youth) there’s a deeper sonic representation that I think better suits the band. They sound like the internal rage of the educated, middle-class, late 20s and early 30-somethings that hold remedial desk jobs that they can’t stand. How’s that for over your head?

ANYWAY, Unfun is the band’s first full-length album and also features the songs from their Whack and Blite EP. As I said before, there’s a striking similarity to early Jawbreaker and early Alkaline Trio. Up-beat song structures featuring rather dour subject matter. The difference being, Jawbreaker focuses on more philosophical, deep thinking lyrical approaches—even if they’re based on the simplest of ideas—and all buried beneath a wall of distortion.

The only reason this album didn’t get a full three stars (as cliché as those are) is the lack of memorability. Late stage Jawbreaker has songs that stick with you long after you’ve listened to it. Their early incarnation, although just as savage and clever, lacks the same quality and the lyrics are damn near unintelligible. Can’t have everything, I guess. Key tracks to enjoy – “Imaginary War,” “Busy,” “Wound” and “Eye-5”.


Captain Morgan
Big Wheel Music Contributor



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