Review Summary: ...that’s the food I eat, that’s the juice box I crave.
After The Bible 2
, AJJ’s most polarizing album to date, the group’s next course of action wasn’t very clear. The group has been tinkering with their new sound since Christmas Island
, leading one to think this EP is the next step in their evolution. But, Back in the Jazz Coffin
seems to be much more of an experiment, rather than another “Garbage Pop” record. Sure, elements from this era of AJJ can be found in the new record by “The AJJs,” but this release is very different from their recent output. The group has been stripped down to a duo for the first time since Knife Man
. Founding members Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty take this opportunity to provide a striking and simplistic approach to climactic indie rock. Incorporating sweetly melancholic melodies with slow grooves, the two are able to create spacious and clean songs that portray a strong sense of emotion. Songs like "Fuckboi” and “Blood, Hatred, Money and Rage 2” feel extremely real and genuine, but still polished beyond belief. The haunting melodies benefit from a razor sharp style of production and the infectious hooks. Bonnette’s strange style of lyricism fits in well with the music, creating a thoroughly engaging experience.
This said, not much of Back in the Jazz Coffin
feels cohesive. Each tracks feels slightly different, and it’s enough to take one out of the experience. The slow, dry riffs of “My Crooked Leg” and the Christmas Island
-esque “American Body Rentals” sound great isolated, but they have little to do with each other. The disjointed nature of this EP leaves much to be desired, as does the run time. Many of these ideas, while being complete and enjoyable tracks, feel as if they could have been fleshed out, as the release is just under nine and a half minutes. Despite this, many musical ideas shown here are simplistically effective, offering a tasty sampler of what might come next.