Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 1/26/2011

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. With seminal ’90s emo act Braid reuniting, I figured I’d mention one more time which bands I want to see get back together. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Discount’s Half Fiction (1997) on black, Jawbox’s For Your Own Special Sweetheart (1994) on black, and Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (1994) on black.

Place of Purchase: Discount and Jawbreaker were spoils from hard-fought eBay battles. I picked up Jawbox’s Sweetheart re-release from Repo Records in Philadelphia.

Thoughts: Each of these reunions would be tricky for various reasons, but if Braid, Dismemberment Plan, Sunny Day Real Estate, and a slew of other bands can pull it off, so can the three bands I picked here. Discount’s big hurtle tour-wise would be frontwoman Allison Mosshart’s schedule – she’s already working full-time with The Dead Weather and The Kills. Artistically, she doesn’t really write in the emo vein anymore. Heck, if Discount’s final album, Crash Diagnostic, marked a move away from interpersonal relationships towards rock ‘n’ roll and surreal imagery. Still, Half Fiction is one of the best pop punk albums of all time. The title track is a perfect 106 seconds of longing and hope. Plenty of more rocking, catchy numbers follow. Yeah, it’s the kind of work that can only come from the young, but it’s still better than most.

Sure, Jawbox did technically get back together for that one-off, but I’d like to see something more. Frontman J. Robbins is a full-time dad now on account of his son Callum’s genetic motor neuron disease, so it would have to either be A) a brief East coast tour (It’s not that far from Maryland to Pennsylvania) or B) a new album. I think an album might be more realistic – Robbins could just do it from his own studio – and honestly, the guy never made a bad record, from Government Issue straight through to Channels. For evidence, check out Jawbox’s third album, For Your Own Special Sweetheart. I’m usually not that into remasters, but I wanted to get it on vinyl and the reissue was cheaper. Lo and behold, it really does sound better (Much like the Unfun remaster from around the same time). Go listen to “Savory.” It’s so droning and powerful and dissonant that it makes other bands’ entire careers irrelevant.

I… really, really like Jawbreaker. Got into them in high school because the lyrics appealed to my awkward, fragile ego. Stayed with them in college because the guitar/bass/drum interplay rules. I can’t single out a single person from Jawbreaker because they were one of the best power trios, along with Face to Face and The Police (Fuck Cream). 24 Hour Revenge Therapy is generally regarded as the band’s best album; it’s their catchiest at least. I’ve got a three-way tie for favorite song off the album: “Boxcar,” the top anti-punk punk song; “Ache,” which is super sad; and “Do You Still Hate Me,” which is super sad but also super rocking. At this point, I don’t know what’s keeping Jawbreaker from reuniting. Get it together, please.

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