Andrew Jackson Jihad- Christmas Island
“I’m a blank page in a notebook waiting to be filled with countless drawings of cocks/I’m a bathroom wall freshly painted over to cover up swastikas and the names of girls that we called sluts/I am the Total Gym™, I am the Salad Glove™, I’m the Slap-Chop™, I’m the Forever Lazy™/I am a boring and worthless thing, and nobody should save me.”
-Andrew Jackson Jihad, the curious case of punk folk first discovered in college that thankfully has lost no wit since 2007’s screaming, staggering satire People Who Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World.
Andrew Jackson Jihad is one of the few current bands whose lyrical personas paint absurdity and wisdom in equal esteem. Like The Mountain Goats, Devendra Banhart and Regina Spektor, rambling words come from unadulterated, commonplace observations, spit with quirky phrasing, succeeding via fuzzy metaphors and wandering, relatable imagery. A mirage of mundane moments are spliced together into lovable, quotable, grey-scale revelations: “It’s harder to define love/I’ve got to drink more if I wanna catch a buzz/The older I get the more articulate I get at lying.”
On Christmas Island (SideOneDummy, May 6), AJJ’s Sean Bonnette sings about dreamy thoughts, grave possibilities and wacky roads to a feeling we’d call true. “Getting Naked and Playing With Guns” hints at societal criticism but prefers fictional, sonnet-purifying observations and rough-edged hilarity: “And we’ll show the neighbor kid what our love actually means/He’s here from out of town and I heard he’s got A.D.D./We’ll climb the tallest branch with a rifle full of dreams/And we’ll blow the little dickhead up to smithereens.”
Cute wordplay braids with darker meaning on Christmas Island; each listener can interpret to a variety of extents, but it probably won’t affect the cultish/incredible, unanimous crowd-belting elation front to back of every venue on every tour. “Shoot him again ‘cause I can see his soul dancing/A coffin dancer dances like he has something to prove because he does/Sleeps a couple hours in the morning, hates the morning when he wakes up/A coffin dancer dances like he wants to make a friend but he does not/The eye contact he makes with each and everyone he doesn’t see is kinda hot.” It’s all fun but really it’s not, and if you enjoy that jumbling demon of strange and its deep-reaching personal touch then Christmas Island and every other AJJ album is past due in your jack.
Favorite tracks: “Children of God” “Coffin Dance” “Getting Naked, Playing With Guns”
“Feeling weird but tasting sweet, feeling sweet but getting weird/now I can see the playground through the trees”