ALBUM REVIEW: “Knife Man” by Andrew Jackson Jihad

September 20. 2011 | By Valerie Veteto

Andrew Jackson Jihad
Knife Man
[Asian Man Records]

Andrew Jackson Jihad is at it again, tearing up the music blogs with his latest folk-punk release Knife Man. Comprised primarily of Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty, their fourth full length album is set to drop September 20th, already to much critical acclaim.

It’s hard to make comparisons with these guys. Their styling is Americana in instrumentals, with tambourines, banjos, and organs, but then their rhythm section pulses punk, as in the drums driven “Distance.” With songs named “The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving,” “Fucc The Devil,” and “Sorry Bro” you would think this is a comedy album, or by the similarly eloquent song title masters, The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Yes, the lyrics are hilarious, most notably in “Zombie by The Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad” and “American Tune.” (“I am white and I’ve got everything I need/No one clutches their purse when they’re in a room alone with me/And I can drive through any neighborhood I please/At any hour and the police don’t do a thing.”) Yet underneath these brazenly biting lyrics is also a self-conscious tone in terms of societal, economical, and creative placement. In “Zombie by The Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad” they address homelessness, first from a hilarious point of view, “if I had a cigarette every time a perfect stranger asked me for a cigarette/Then I’d have enough cigarettes to get me through the day” and then slowly, eventually from a humane perspective, “I wish to God I had some spare change for every time a perfect stranger asked me for some spare change/But there’s not enough spare change in the world to make such an empty gesture count.”

Witty, self-reflecting, and with vastly entertaining folk-punk beats easy to dance to, Knife Man is a must-check-out for 2011 fall releases.

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