2008 – Matador Records
Okay, so I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet. I’m listening to this as I type, but I was inspired and couldn’t wait until the album was over. This is, without a doubt, the most hilarious album I’ve heard all year.
Jaguar Love, for those of you who haven’t kept your AMP subs up to date, is the new project of Johnny Whitney and Cody Votolato of the Blood Brothers and Jay Clark of Pretty Girls Make Graves, two now-defunct “art punk” bands Seattle. While both bands eventually lost me (Blood Brothers with their turn away from spazzy noise and legitimately-tormented-sounding screams toward the more dancy ”art punk” sound, and PGMG when they came to my town and acted like complete cunts after having released a similarly alienating “art punk” album), I was curious to see what members of two of Seattle’s biggest “indie” successes since the grunge era would come up with.
As it turns out, they are so over-the-top screaming art punk dancey beat heavily produced, so drum machine and organ with Cedric Bixler-Zavala huffing helium vocals(!!!) that they have totally turned around my bad mood. Listening to this album is like giving a puppy espresso…. but it still sucks.
What the hell am I talking about anyway?
Let me try to put it this way: Adbusters magazine (who I’m not going to link to because I think they’re terribly lame) currently has an issue about hipsters on all the newstands. Adbusters thinks that hipsters (who are defined by Adbusters as anyone who owns/rides a fixed-gear bike, wears skinny pants and/or American Apparel, etc. etc. etc.) represent the end of civilization – a dead end for activism and culture and all things good and righteous and worthwhile. I don’t agree with Adbusters on the hipster thing, but I kind of think that Jaguar Love might represent the end of music. They’re form without substance. They’re feigned emotion without any real guts. They’re lock without a key, a city with no door, they’re a bad word, a wink, a nod, a shiver, an untold story, sex without purity, a creeping gray memory… okay okay okay. What I mean is that they’re not very good as a band.
Sure, Jaguar Love can play their instruments fine. That’s not the issue. The issue is that apparently, between the three members of the band, they have had no hardship, no strife, no experiences that have allowed them to build up even one soul. I suppose that’s kind of sad, but it sure sounds funny.