Andrew Jackson Jihad – Knife Man
(Asian Man Records, 2011)
Andrew Jackson Jihad are a folk punk duo from Arizona. Ben Gallaty plays the stand-up bass and Sean Bonnette plays guitar while doing his best to drive casual listeners running for the hills with his singing/screaming/speaking songs built around basic chords and ridiculou, insulting, cynical lyrics. AJJ remind me of a Fat Wreck Chords band that grew up on Guthrie and Dylan rather than Rollins and MacKaye. This is not easy music to listen to. In fact I’m not sure I even like the music. It is abrasive as hell and makes you want to kick something, but isn’t that what punk is all about? That’s the way I remember it. But in this case it’s really the other punk rock attributes that have me coming back to this album — it’s the one-liners and the clever ways of being completely offensive. AJJ is the first band since early Modest Mouse where I can honestly say I love the songs even though I don’t like the vocalist’s voice. But with lyrics like the following, who cares what it sounds like!
I wanna put on my sweatpants. You know I’m trying to quit. I want to give a shit again.
The flask is an alcoholic’s paintbrush. The flask is an alcoholic’s toothbrush.
I hate whiny fucking songs like this. But I can’t afford a therapist. Sorry guys. Here’s a solo.
So every now and then, I’ll sing a sad song.Cause it keeps my spirit like my conscience clean
And if you don’t care to hear it. I don’t mind if you go out for some air
Cause I’m happy that you’re happier than me
I’m a straight white male in America. I got all the luck I need.
If God doesn’t like ugly. Then God doesn’t like anybody.
God is obsolete. My God thinks my jokes are funny.
You can hope it gets better, you can follow your dreams
But hope is for presidents and dreams are for people who are sleeping.
at best, we’re all two or three bad decisions away
from becoming the ones that we fear and pity.
I don’t want to be like you but I’m still rooting for you.
the Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving played his final game tonight.
I’m afraid of God. I’m afraid to believe
And I’m afraid of all the loved ones that I’ve made leave
I’m afraid that my dog doesn’t love me anymore.
Andrew Jackson Jihad – Hate, Rain on Me