Happy Jawbone Family Band – Tastes The Broom (2013)
Okay, so I must be a glutton for punishment.
I previously reviewed Happy Jawbone Family Band’s last album, The Silk Pistol (2012), but it was not an easy review. I found the album difficult to get into at first and it took me not only a few listens to really get a handle on the music but also a few days to commit the review. I gave wrong information because I found information hard to come by, saying that it was their third album, whereas it was in fact their sixth. I was also alerted to the fact that they had a compilation album out. However, based on the fact that I liked the previous album, when I saw this release on Spotify, I was so excited that I forgot to check that it was a new release and not that compilation that I had been alerted to.
It is that compilation that I had been alerted to. Never mind. It has been released by Mexican Summer Records as a lead into the new album this year.
The first track, Now Everybody Rock Like You Got AIDS is a noisy affair from 2009’s album Family Matters, which, straight away highlights Happy Jawbone Family Bands dark humour and loose raucous style that I found hard to get into on first listen but now comes easier. Fireflies Made Out Of Dust is not the version from OK Midnight, You Win (2011), but instead the version from album Hotel Double Tragedy (2010), as is At The Hotel Double Tragedy which begins with a circuit-bent toy, followed by music mimicking that style.
The track that alerted me to the fact that I might not be listening to a new album this morning was a favourite of mine from The Silk Pistol, There’s Too Much Blood In The Attic Tonight, which is a great track led by a haunting repeated string melody (although on The Silk Pistol, the title says “Today” not “Tonight”; just another addition to my woeful misunderstanding of this band). Another favourite of mine from The Silk Pistol is collected here, That Cruel Thimbleful, part dark ballad, part dirge.
Overall, this compilation serves to bring anticipation of the forthcoming album and is a great retrospective/introduction to a band whose ethos is individuality; they honestly sound like no-one else. Loose, DIY, experimental, folky, noisy, freaky, irreverent, quirky; just pick a few of those words, throw them into the air and catch a few, that is Happy Jawbone Family Band. I’m happy to have discovered them and I look forward to their (actually) new album!
Spotify link: Happy Jawbone Family Band – Tastes the Broom