Andrew Jackson Jihad
Christmas Island


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kevin Goldfinger USER (11 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2014 | 118 replies | 9,941 views


Release Date: 05/06/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Open up your murder eyes, and see the ugly world that spat you out."

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Just when I thought that Andrew Jackson Jihad couldn’t keep relaying critical and timeless messages while maintaining their offbeat and quirky personality, “Christmas Island” happened.

While “Knife Man” and “Can’t Maintain” featured a lot of electric guitar and upbeat punk influence, this album seems to stray away from this style in favor of a more expanded sound. Drums, acoustic guitar, keyboards, upright bass, and even some other string instruments are showcased on this album instead, leaving Christmas Island with a more unique sound that can’t be encompassed just by the term “folk-punk”. This isn’t to say that they’ve abandoned their old style. Tracks like “Temple Grandin” and “Kokopelli Face Tattoo” recall that style in a refreshing way. But it’s very apparent that AJJ has picked up a few members, just from the sound of this album.

Front-man Sean Bonnette sings in his usual style for most of the album; there are some really strange and entertaining vocal effects thrown on at points. However, in “Coffin Dance”, he sings a little differently. The vocals are especially unsettling and haunting in the line “he sleeps a couple hours in the morning, hates the morning when he wakes up, the coffin dancer dances like he wants to make a friend but he does not”. The wistful and creaky way that he sings this gives me chills every time I listen to it. It’s something that I never expected from them, and that makes it especially haunting for me, at least.

Some might say that this album is tame in comparison to “Knife Man” and “Can’t Maintain”, and obviously doesn’t compare to the band’s first album. However, I would urge listeners to erase their expectations that this is a punk album. I don’t think of it as a punk album (even though the opener, “Temple Grandin”, recalls the same folk-punk ethos that made them popular). Most of the other songs on Christmas Island are as perplexing as the album cover. The label of experimental, tongue-in-cheek indie comes to mind, but I would still discourage people from labeling this record.

Christmas Island has its shortcomings, but they ironically seem to play into why I like this album so much. The crude, over the top analogies in the lyrics can easily be a turn-off (“And out the corner of my eye, coming out from the teeth filled sky with eyes as red as a dog’s asshole when you see it ***ting”- Children of God), but that’s also part of their unique charm. The retro sounding keyboard is also overly cheesy and cliché, but it strangely works for them.

From the overly punchy drums in “Children of God”, the strings in “Do, Re, and Me” to the 80’s sounding keyboard parts littered throughout the album, Christmas Island serves to be one of the more interesting and entertaining listens I’ve experienced so far this year. They maintain a lot of their folk-punk energy and charm, while simultaneously expanding their sound to strange terrain that only they could pull off. With bizarre keyboards, vocal effects, and even stranger subject matter, Christmas Island is certainly not a step back for Andrew Jackson Jihad.

8/10


Favorite Tracks: “Do, Re, and Me”, “Coffin Dance”, “Linda Ronstadt”, “Angel of Death”

Least Favorite Tracks: “Getting Naked, Playing With Guns”



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user ratings (123)
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3.5
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Paul Golden (4)
Christmas Island isn't the greatest thing Andrew Jackson Jihad have created, but it may just be the ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 2nd 2014



19642 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

was pretty disappointed at first but it's growing on me. Children of God is still my favorite

Kris.
May 2nd 2014



12280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i gotta try again, couldn't make it past my first listen. stopped due to boredom.

KevinGoldfinger
May 2nd 2014



18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it gets so much better the more you listen

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 2nd 2014



12951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best ajj yet

Digging: Electric Wurms - Musik Die Schwer Zu Twerk

Veldin
May 2nd 2014



1130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely growing on me. Some of the lyrics still make me crane my neck, but that's always been the case with AJJ. Pos'd.

Kman418
May 2nd 2014



10162 Comments


probably wont listen to this

Digging: OutKast - Aquemini

ABjordanMM
May 2nd 2014



1390 Comments


^^ say it ain't so : (

Digging: Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

KevinGoldfinger
May 2nd 2014



18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why would you say that you won't listen to it? like why would you comment that?

Kman418
May 2nd 2014



10162 Comments


sry like they're good i just dont feel any need to hear anything else in this style considering i already have knife man and people who eat people

Kris.
May 2nd 2014



12280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

kman how wonderfully ignorant and stupid of you

YakNips
May 2nd 2014



9512 Comments


lol exactly

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Just Got Back from the Discomfort

Kman418
May 2nd 2014



10162 Comments


sry i dont need another entry level folk punk orgcore album w/ pseudo deep lyrics in my life

i mean they're fun but yeah lol

Cygnatti
May 2nd 2014



21350 Comments


"entry level folk punk orgcore album w/ pseudo deep lyrics"

spot on there, man o'k. ;]

Kman418
May 2nd 2014



10162 Comments


besides i dont need someone who 5'd that direct hit album judging me

KevinGoldfinger
May 2nd 2014



18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is quite the opposite of "entry level folk punk". did you read my review?

BeeRyan
May 2nd 2014



111 Comments


kman 2014

MyCarandMyGuitar
May 2nd 2014



728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"However, in “Coffin Dance”, he sings a little differently. The vocals are especially unsettling and
haunting in the line “he sleeps a couple hours in the morning, hates the morning when he wakes up, the
coffin dancer dances like he wants to make a friend but he does not”. The wistful and creaky way that
he sings this gives me chills every time I listen to it."

Not Sean singing that part, it's the guy from Xiu Xiu. Great review otherwise, but could have went
into the individual tracks more. Also, Getting Naked as least fav track? That's a big highlight for
me. I'd say Deathlessness is the only weak track on here

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 2nd 2014



12951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sorry kman this isn't the same as those 2 albums

MyCarandMyGuitar
May 2nd 2014



728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"besides i dont need someone who 5'd that direct hit album judging me"

yeah if you wanna judge this guy you better have the same opinion as him

Kman418
May 2nd 2014



10162 Comments


i listened to two songs off it and it sounded exactly like everything else they've put out so yeah



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