Andrew Jackson Jihad's newest release Knife Man is social
commentary at its finest, combining tragically honest lyrics with fast paced instrumentals, inviting listeners to dance and sing along to the beauty of destruction.
Many competing sounds make up this album, including simple stripped down tracks like "Free Bird" (no, not the one you're thinking), and expanding to more full sounding songs such as "No One." Knife Man features something for everyone, with tracks resembling those of gloomy underground British rock groups and others more closely related to good 'ole country tunes complete with guitar twang and keys. While it is clear that the duo had fun experimenting with new sounds, they still managed to keep close to their roots. Fans, both old and new, are sure to appreciate this album.
A wall is hit early on with wonderfully violent sounding "Backpack." Being so different from anything else on the album, I'm honestly not sure whether to smile or to cry while singing along to this one, which dramatically ends with “You were dead by the time that I had found you.”
Immediately following with a completely different sound to it, "Distance" reminds me a lot of a John Cusack movie. Fast paced and driving instrumentals paired with love-lust lyrics, this song leaves listeners rooting for the antihero. You can't help but tap your foot to this one.
The use of humorous story-telling gives a light-hearted feel to the bigger issues at hand. Many songs focusing on the issues of prejudice, divorce, and an overall hatred for humanity are countered by fun, uplifting tunes making listeners want to clap along and rejoice in the fact that humanity blows. We're all in this one together kids, go listen to "If You Have Love in Your Heart," and try to embrace this day and age for what it's truly worth.
After studying these songs inside and out, it seems as though everyone is able to relate to this album in some way. Whether you are a kind individual who tosses change at the bag lady who frequents outside of the local Casey's, or you're the annoying kid outside of shows bumming cigarettes from everyone, you're probably being made fun of in one or all of these songs. “I would hate to be like you, but I'm still rooting for you.”
With that in mind, please check out this album. Originally, I wanted to give a thorough review of each song, but have decided against that. With each song having so many intricate layers, I'm leaving this one to you guys. Go listen and interpret for yourselves.
With new album out, folk-punk staple Andrew Jackson Jihad is set to embark on a six-week US/Canadian tour supporting Frank Turner.