Genre: Folk Punk
- "Self Esteem"
- "Love in the Time of Human Papillomavirus"
- "You Don’t Deserve Yourself"
- "Olde(y) Tyme(y)"
- "Kazoo Sonata in C Major"
- "We Didn’t Come Here to Rock"
- "Truckers are the Blood"
- "Love Will Fuck Us Apart"
- "Sense, Sensibility"
- "Who are You?"
- "White Face, Black Eyes"
Review: Andrew Jackson Jihad are a folk-punk two piece from Phoenix, Arizona. Their newest album, Can't Maintain, shows a good and fair combination of folk punk and indie folk, while incorporating some other interesting treats in-between. Most of the time the band relies on using acoustic guitar and upright bass, though they bring in some other instruments such as a horn section on certain songs The combination of simple acoustic instruments and grand horn parts evokes a Neutral Milk Hotel feel in the songs.
Kicking off with "Heartilation", the song shows the fast-paced side of the band, outshining punk band aggressiveness by only using an acoustic guitar. The lyrics throughout the album reflect the singer's insecurities and animosity about a failed relationship. Most songs on the album hold a different feel, going from the country influence of "Odle(y) Tyme(y)", to a song entirely on kazoo in "Kazoo Sonata in C Major". The band even brings in a quick ambient influence during the last half of "We Didn't Come Here to Rock", the song being a fuck-you to reviewers of their last album.
The climax of the album comes with the track "White Face, Black Eyes", which brings together many of the elements seen on the album so far in one final song. It starts off slow, but by the end of the song, the band brings in a string section as well as a piano piece to give the album a dramatic and satisfying finish.
Versatility isn't the only strength of the album, as their other biggest strength is their lyric writing ability. Whether it's the bluntness of "We Didn't Come Here To Rock", or the somewhat subtle lyrics of "Love In The Time of Human Papillomavirus", the band gets the lyrics across clearly. The only downside to the album is that the singer Sean Bonnette doesn't bring anything unique to the table in terms of his vocal stylings, though this doesn't bring the album down too far.
All in all, Can't Maintain is a great album in the folk punk genre, and a great follow up to Andrew Jackson Jihad's previous album.
Article originally published on www.absolutepunk.net by red8ge