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HeartaliationAndrew Jackson Jihad
Andrew Jackson Jihad - “Heartilation” (2009)
I think what sets apart my blog from the likes of Pitchfork or Stereogum is that I use the word “I” more than any of them. I say this because my blog is about relating the music to the self. What I mean is that it’s a more personal blog because I write it for myself. I have the liberty to not just write about music, but also to write about my own being and emotions.
Anyways, with that in mind, I gotta say that I hate being a teenager sometimes. All it takes is a few hours to shift my moods, and I’ll be damned if I’m not a whiny, angsty little brat sometimes.
In the midst of all this, I’ve been heavily re-listening to local Phoenix folk-punk band Andrew Jackson Jihad and their latest album, 2009’s Can’t Maintain. Specifically, the album’s first track, “Heartilation” really strikes me in the best way possible. It’s one of the fastest and most upbeat songs on the album, with the band ditching their unplugged sound in lieu of a pop-punk scuzz. Lyrically, it’s as over-the-top and self-loathing as the band gets: the singer reads off a laundry list of self-mutilation he wishes to inflict on his heart: break it apart, glue it to his car, destroy the car, light it on fire, and so on. And then there’s that chorus: “If you think you are better than me, you’re right! / there’s no one to love, no one to trust in my life.” Self-loathing never sounded so good.
I met AJJ singer-songwriter Sean Bonnette at concert a couple months ago where he was opening for Titus Andronicus, and he seems like a real down-to-earth guy. Still, I feel like had I simply met him as an average person and not as a fan, he would never have been able to communicate the malaise that we share in common. But through a winning song like “Heartilation,” I feel a connection to Sean despite having only talked to him briefly; I guess that’s why music is so great. We’re two completely different people from different cities and different backgrounds, but for these two minutes and two seconds, I understand him, differences be damned.
“Heartilation” appears on Can’t Maintain, out now.