Jawbreaker
24 Hour Revenge Therapy


5.0
classic

Review

by Joe Costa USER (34 Reviews)
February 4th, 2007 | 57 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 24 Hour Revenge Therapy is not only Jawbreaker's best work, but also an emotional punk masterpiece which has helped mold the pop-punk genre as we know it today in innumerable ways.

In the modern pop-punk realm, most bands’ success can be attributed to one album which would change the face of music as we currently know it. This album was the legendary Dookie by Green Day, the primary band responsible for the explosion of the genre in the mid-nineties along with The Offspring and blink-182. But going back even further than that, it is impossible to deny the fact that Jawbreaker had a huge influence on Green Day’s music. While Jawbreaker’s first two albums, 1990’s Unfun (with possibly the funniest album art ever) and 1992’s Bivouac, both were seminal underground hits, both albums also lacked that accessibility that made their immediate predecessor, 1994’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, such a classic and a huge influence on the bands that created the mainstream pop-punk sound that would rein triumphant over rock radio until nasal singing, cookie monster screaming, and pseudo-emotional lyrics (which extends Jawbreaker’s influence ever further) would become the more popular sound of the two.

Musically, it is very clear that bands such as Green Day were very heavily influenced by Jawbreaker. The band was well-known for crafting catchy and simplistic melodies without becoming tepid or uninspired, something that their more popular cohorts were sometimes incapable of. With only three members in the band, and a miniscule recording budget, the band was relatively incapable of creating overly complicated music. But fortunately, in Jawbreaker’s case, this was exactly what would suit them best. Sticking to the rudimentary three-chords that so many pop-punk bands are notorious for using, they were able to create a multitude of dynamics and emotions with what little they had-something that many less talented bands even to this day attempt and fail miserably.

“Condition Oakland” is an tremendous example of the band at their creative peak, starting out with urgent and catchy bounce, before transitioning to a brilliantly emotional chorus where singer Blake Schwarzenbach wails about the pains of being lonely and misunderstood in the most sincere and honest way possible. The gem of the song though, comes during the spoken word section, where a morose poem describing some of the bleak landscape of downtown Oakland is read over a throbbing bassline, light tinkering of a piano, and a twangy, emotive guitar line. “Condition Oakland” harkens back to Jawbreaker’s first two albums, both of which attempted to be a dark and mature take on the pop-punk that was coming into prominence at the time, while adding a more sprawling, epic feel to the music. It is ironic then, that this track accomplishes all of what their first two albums set out to do better than those albums did. It stands out as one of the most artistically challenging and emotional pop-punk songs ever written.

Singer Blake Schwarzenbach is a paradox. His vocals are certainly not what one would consider traditionally great: he is very raspy and has quite an edge to his vocals. But unlike so many other vocalists with similar issues, his vocals fit the music (and to a greater extent, the lyrics) perfectly. Recorded immediately after throat surgery to rectify the damage done from his even rougher vocal work on both Bivouac and Unfun, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy shows him at his emotional peak, fitting perfectly between the nearly unintelligible vocals from Jawbreaker’s earlier work, and the over-polished, whinier delivery prevalent on the bands swan song Dear You and the similar tone of his work with Jets to Brazil (Schwarzenbach’s first post-Jawbreaker effort).

Perhaps 24 Hour Revenge Therapy’s greatest strength lies in the lyrical content. Where Schwarzenbach’s earliest work with Jawbreaker could be considered almost myopic lyrically, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy expands upon the theme of loneliness and heartbreak that pervade both Bivouac and Unfun, while also introducing many other ideas. “Indictment” is a burning satire of the rock star mentality that Schwarzenbach so obviously despises, and an ironic attack upon bands looking to write substance-free music for the sake of popularity. “Boxcar” is an outward condemnation of the label-happy punk scene which began to cry “sellout” following the progression from their first two albums and an outward cry of basically “we don’t give a fuck” towards anyone who accused them of such a thing. “Do You Still Hate Me?” is most likely Jawbreaker’s most honest and poignant lyrical work in their discography, with only their opus “I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both” possibly being a contender. Schwarzenbach’s lyrical work on 24 Hour Revenge Therapy is extremely personal, almost to the point of being voyeuristic, while still being quite intelligent, with heavy reliance on metaphors and symbolism, and never cliché.

24 Hour Revenge Therapy is easily the gem of Jawbreaker’s impressive discography. It shows them at their peak artistically, refined a bit from their early efforts and more streamlined, but without some of the fundamental flaws. It also catches them prior to their major label debut, Dear You, where much of the impact of the songs is lost in the radio-friendly polish used thoroughly throughout the course of the album. To say that 24 Hour Revenge Therapy is for everyone would be incorrect: Certainly many will dislike the album for valid reasons. But although not everyone is inclined to enjoy it, it is fully capable of converting many listeners of varying tastes onto a completely different genre, and has provided a key release in the development and rise of a genre that is disdained by many and embraced by many more. Without 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, it is highly unlikely that pop-punk would be where it is today, and the music scene as we know it would be a completely different landscape.

Recommended Tracks: The Boat Dreams From the Hill, Condition Oakland, In Sadding Around, Do You Still Hate Me?



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user ratings (279)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
random (4)
Just read the title for an apt description of this excellent album....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
samthebassman
February 5th 2007


2164 Comments


Good review, even though I probably wouldnt like this album.

trustxdialect
February 5th 2007


1502 Comments


I don't like the recommended albums, so I doubt I'd like this.

Intransit
February 5th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

LISTEN TO IT NOW HEATHENS.

Srsly though, its hard to describe this record. I reccomend it to pretty much anyone though, and if you don't like it, you can like e-punch me.

pixiesfanyo
February 5th 2007


1223 Comments


Not a 5.

Good album though.

IgniteYourAvail
February 5th 2007


41 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of my favorite albums. This is a really solid review, man. Well done.

/votes

Zebra
Moderator
February 5th 2007


2647 Comments


I've been meaning to check these guys out, I think I'm gonna start with Dear You first.


descendents1
February 5th 2007


702 Comments


try this first, it's more accessible

descendents1
February 5th 2007


702 Comments


but to comment on the review...great review, it's very appropriate! i dig it a lot. the best point is that it can be compatible with some to bring them toward the genre, and incompatible with others, but there's no real in between. some may like this album whereas others will be turned off by its rough sound and apparent, i emphasize APPARENT repetitive framework. if you feel that it's repetitive it's my opinion that you're not really listening. again great review, this is a must for a first listen.This Message Edited On 02.05.07This Message Edited On 02.05.07

tom79
February 5th 2007


3380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. Dear You is classic, and Boxcar is great off this. I'll be getting or downloading this soon

Digging: Nai Harvest - Whatever

The Jungler
February 5th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I'm in the same boat as Zebra. I've been meaning to listen to Dear You for a long time.

Intransit
February 5th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey guys, thanks for all of the kudos/e-fellatio

I really think you guys should check out this album first. Dear You is good, but this is pretty much their best album, even though it is a grower.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 5th 2007


3996 Comments


Apparently this band was a huge influence on Lagwagon. When I found that out back in the day I downloaded "Want," "Oyster," and "Chemistry." I liked what I heard but I think Lagwagon is just too supreme in the pop punk world, though it's all fairly good.

Two-Headed Boy
April 17th 2007


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Condition Oakland is an amazing song. And the album never seeps in quality. I'm so glad I got this.

711
April 17th 2007


1341 Comments


I need this and Dear You.
/Heads to soulseek...

Two-Headed Boy
April 17th 2007


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Buy the albums, n00b.

711
April 17th 2007


1341 Comments


I tried to get Dear You but it was out of stock.

slep
April 17th 2007


1604 Comments


Dear You is their best but this one is still really good.

711
April 17th 2007


1341 Comments


k downloading Dear You now
Two Headed boy why didnt you want me to download them

Two-Headed Boy
April 18th 2007


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Download is illegal, and besides doesn't it feel rewarding to hold an actual album in your hands?

Intransit
April 18th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think Dear You is really overrated. This album is totally better,



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