Andrew Jackson Jihad
Knife Man


4.5
superb

Review

by DynamiteKyle USER (5 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2011 | 2 replies | 3,051 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Knife Man takes the band forward in an interesting, and good direction. They have evolved immensely with each album, and I love them more than ever with this new release.

"If your Hustler subscription and your Xanax prescription make you feel lonelier instead... you don't want to hear about all those starving children. You don't want to be told that it's all in your head, cause if it's all in your head... that's terrible." - People II 2: Still Peoplin'

Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty are Andrew Jackson Jihad. They love people, or, they love the emotions that being a people connotes. They sing songs about people, politics, life, death, and many other generally depressing topics. But more importantly, they do it well. Very well; but more on that later. We've got a lot to cover here.

Andrew Jackson Jihad's first album, Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns (2005) was filled to the brim with dark humor, philosophic lyrics, and acoustic instruments. Lots of acoustic instruments. However, it also sounds like it was recorded by some college kids in their living room with a $20 microphone. 2007's People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World saw better production, better lyrics, and was a large improvement in the band's sound (Survival Song is my third most played track according to last.fm). Can't Maintain (2009) was the band's transition to a more electric instrumentation (also DRUMS). They also have about a million splits/EPs/singles/etc. that I'm not going to go into. One of the few things that all of these albums have in common is that they are all fantastic.

Knife Man holds true to that.

Knife Man follows quite well in Can't Maintain's rather electric footsteps with it's instrumentation, and the lyrics are fantastic as always. "I hate whiny songs like this, but I can't afford a therapist. Sorry guys, here's a solo.". While I mentioned that Knife Man has a far more electric sound to it, the guys don't completely ditch acoustic songs, which are great as well. I have one or two problems with the album, however. The major gripe is the song structure. Several of the songs on Knife Man use the same chord progressions as previous songs. I.E. "Zombie By The Cranberries By Andrew Jackson Jihad" has the exact same bass line as "People" from People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World, and "Sad Songs (Intermission)" borrows heavily from "Ladykiller" on Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns. This problem aside, several of the songs on Knife Man are still very original, and step out of the band's comfort zone. The closer, "Big Bird" has a choir in the background. "Back Pack" (which is a super depressing song, might I add) has some interesting vocal effects as well.

Knife Man takes the band forward in an interesting, and good direction. They have evolved immensely with each album, and I love them more than ever with this new release.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
iFghtffyrdmns
September 23rd 2011



7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

you spend more than half of this review talking about things OTHER than Knife Man.
Also, a sentence like this:
"Knife Man takes the band forward in an interesting, but good direction."
needs some work, both directly and indirectly.

Directly, it's a vague and boring sentence, and doesn't really tell the reader much other than the fact that you obviously like this record. Indirectly, it's completely unsupported. If you're going to stake so bold a claim as this, you really need to provide some evidence in support of it. My advice to you is to read lots of staff/featured reviews and get a sense of how they flow and provide ideas. The big paragraph about Knife Man is good and it has the write ideas, though the execution is definitely shaky/unsupported/awkward at times. For one, "I have one or two problems with the album, however." really sticks out like a sore thumb... if nothing else I would avoid the first person here.

Awesome record though, these dudes rule. Saw them last night and got this on vinyl, it was super rad.

darkbunny
September 24th 2011



140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's also a pretty weird sentence because it's like he's contrasting interesting with goood. 'And' would be more appropriate.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness



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