Andrew Jackson Jihad – Knife Man (2011)

Bored of media, mainstream and of all the fake music and star-posers, politicians and quitters, couch-revolutionaries and street punks, my own shit and in less words, bored by everything, for this marvelous God-given Sunday, I dig out for you folks this pretty obscure American folk-punk (anti-folk) band, Andrew Jackson Jihad. Not quite expert of this (sub) genre, actually resuming my knowledge to the New Model Army, “Knife Man” is surprisingly breathing, absolutely alive and funny in a world which isn’t funny at all and eventually lost his very last drop of sense of humor.
The band obtained much coverage for their songs about “serial killers, cigarettes, child abuse, and a vengeful Jesus”. They were also the subject of controversy in an issue of HeartattaCk regarding their song “I Love You”:
“I like telling dirty jokes, And I like smoking crystal meth, But darling I love you. And I like laughing at retards, And I like throwing rocks at dogs, But darling I love you. I love you like the moon and stars, When little kids get hit by cars, Girl you know it’s true. Darling, I love you. I’ve been tryin’ to move on, since you left, Since you’ve been gone, but it’s so hard on me. Talked to a girl in first hour, bought her a CD, Bought her a flower, but she’s a stupid cunt. But I’ll take anything, and I’ll take anyone. I’ll take an angry lesbian with a loaded gun. I’ll take a whore with syphilis and gonorrhea too. But darling, I love you. ”
This is funny – seriously. I wonder what the “You Don’t Want to Fuck With Me” lyrics are about? 😆 😆 😆

The official release note says: “Knife Man, is a record about love, poverty, violence, luck, discrimination, homelessness, and Phoenix, Arizona. Recorded by their longtime engineer jalipaz at audioconfusion, AJJ formed an Arizona all-star band, borrowing members from ROAR, Doth, French Quarter, and Malakai. The Knife Man sessions have yielded Andrew Jackson Jihad’s most cohesive and driving album yet.”
Fair enough. From noisy punk rock tunes such as “Distance” to quieter folk tunes as “People II: Still People” or quite indie country songs as “”Sad Song (Intermission)”, Andrew Jackson Jihad delivered a couple of great songs exploring in both direction creatively. My favorites are: “Zombies By The Cranberries By Andrew Jackson Jihad”, “Back Pack”, “Fucc the Devil”, “Hate, Rain on Me”, “Sad Song (Intermission)”, “People II: Still People”, “Sorry Bro” and “Free Bird”. And the lyrics are… terrible! 😆
I love more and more this album as I’m listening it more and more. Perhaps I will leave this one on repeat the whole day – and take the rest of it off. 😀
Since the 1994’s Mojo Nixon and Jello Biafra collaboration “Prairie Home Invasion”, I did not have so much fun with a this kind of record.

Track listing:

01. The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving
02. Gift of the Magi 2: Return of the Magi
03. American Tune
04. Back Pack
05. Distance
06. Fucc the Devil
07. Hate, Rain on me
08. If you have Love in your Heart
09. No One
10. Sad Songs
11. Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad
12. People II 2: Still Peoplin’
13. Sorry Bro
14. Skate Park
15. Free Bird
16. Big Bird

Andrew Jackson Jihad was formed in 2004 after its original drummer, Justin James White, approached Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty, who had just left the band Rodan and respectively the band The Sub-Standards.
Since then, many significant Arizona musicians have sat in with the remaining duo of Sean and Ben, including John De La Cruz of Fatigo and Asleep In The Sea’s Owen Evans. Dylan Cook also plays mandolin regularly with the band.
According to Songfacts, Bonnette, who is also the lyricist of the band (with upright bass player Ben Gallant handling most of the production and some vocals as well) volunteered at a suicide prevention hotline for teenagers for eight years, and worked with homeless men and women in the Phoenix, Arizona area. These experiences gave him a sometimes bleak, but at moments, hopeful outlook on life, often reflected in the band’s lyrics.
On Halloween 2005, Andrew Jackson Jihad covered Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea album in its entirety at CounterCulture Cafe.
Besides their local shows, where they have become arguably the most prominent representative in Arizona of the DIY ethic, they have also toured in clubs and basements across the Western United States.
“Knife Man” was released on September 6th to everyone who pre-ordered, and September 20th to the general public, by Asian Man Records.

Discography (studio albums):

2005 – Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns
2007 – People That Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World
2009 – Can’t Maintain
2011 – Knife Man

Andrew Jackson Jihad – Official Site
Andrew Jackson Jihad @ MySpace

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