AJJ

Glory Days & Cow Haus Presents !

AJJ

Look Mexico

Sat · February 9, 2019

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

The Wilbury

Tallahassee, FL

$18.00 - $20.00

18+ unless accompanied by parent or guardian

No refunds unless the show is cancelled

$2 under 21 charge at the door

 

 

AJJ
AJJ
For their sixth album, garbage­pop veterans AJJ chose to reinforce their strengths and leave any limp frivolities behind. They reconvened with producer J ohn Congleton, who oversaw 2014’s sonically expansive Christmas Island, but recorded and mixed the album in a mere nine days, having arranged most of the songs during tour sound checks and down­time in the van. This made for a confident stride into more elaborate arrangements and wider dynamics while staying just as dour. They also opted, amid some sensation, for the simplified band acronym (previously Andrew Jackson Jihad). Singer Sean Bonnette told The AV Club that, among many reasons, the change cleared a space for new imagery and allowed their music to define them, not their band name.

As a result, their new album, T he Bible 2, is their most ambitious and assured collection of scuzzy punk screeds, employing even more production heft while sparing none of the vulnerability. The album’s mantra is placed right at the center: “No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread”. The Bible 2 f inds the band choosing intimacy over isolation, gravity over the vacuum, the stage instead of the scene. The album is also an examination of boyhood from an adult distance, putting some of its tumult and pain to rest.

It’s also the most impressive work of Bonnette’s, who has honed his confessional lyrical prowess into a punk inflected mire of Trent Reznor’s unrestrained turmoil, Jamie Stewart’s profane gallows humor and a touch of David Berman’s surreal quotidian imagery. Opener “Cody’s Theme” rings like Jay Reatard distorted with Neutral Milk Hotel neuroses ( “I set the mommy on fire / I set the baby on fire / not even Jesus could stop me”). The character of Cody, a recurring Bonnette motif, returns as a kool­aid stained kid navigating transience, intrusive thoughts and involuntary delusion, brimming wild with destructive energy and having nowhere to put it. Elsewhere, cross­eyed metaphors float above the shredded acoustic Pixies tension of “Terrifier” ( “Some days you’re a member of Queen / other days you’re a Kottonmouth King”) , and some of Bonnette’s most intense grotesqueries ( “My blood is worse than your blood / this heart pumps baby piss”) get bit crushed in to the lo-fi Guided By Voices pop of “My Brain is a Human Body."

But Bonnette’s narrative skills, and the band’s growing nuances, have never been more heartbreaking than on “ Junkie Church”, a tender acoustic tale about affection and companionship on the lowest rung of society ( “ I used your ribs as ladders / and I climbed up on your chest / and I jumped up and down just like a trampoline” B onnette sings). Preston Bryant’s synth, Mark Glick’s cello and Ben Gallaty’s bass are employed to haunting Leonard Cohen­like production ends, staccato plucks and serrated chords hiving like gnats then quickly dissolving into darkness. This cinematic arrangement also bolsters the power­folk epic “Small Red Boy”, organ heaves and cymbal swells coloring Bonnette’s vivid story of rebirth.

Near the album’s midpoint, right after spelling out their thesis, AJJ pounds through the jangly throb of “Goodbye, Oh Goodbye”. The song is a cathartic fever dream, the band walloping furious chords, a kiss­off to so many things worth shedding: the emotional heap of a past life, some long­aching baggage, any and all expectations.
Look Mexico
Look Mexico
The humble beginnings of Tallahassee [now austin] indie rock outfit Look Mexico can be traced to a chance meeting between Matt Agrella (vocals/guitar) and Dave Bumsted (guitar) at a Sea and Cake show held at Florida State University. They started writing songs, and in early 2004 decided to really get a band up and running together. Searching for members to round them out, they eventually hooked up with drummer Josh Mikel; Look Mexico booked their first show in October 2004 (playing with Karate, no less), even though they had yet to find a bassist. A temporary one was found just in time for the gig, but Look Mexico weren't solidified until after the recording of their first EP, 2005's So Byzantine, with the addition of Tyson Kuhlhoff. The guys played various dates, mostly around Florida, before entering the studio in early 2006 to record their next effort. The Crucial EP was released later that year to positive response, and following its recording, Bumsted left to pursue school and was replaced on guitar by Ryan Slate. Over time, the band shared stages with acts like Horse the Band, Piebald, Gogogo Airheart, Fake Problems, and more. Look Mexico signed to Lujo Records in late 2006 and readied their debut full-length, This is Animal Music, which appeared the following summer. The band supported it on the road for the remainder of the year.
Venue Information:
The Wilbury
513 W. Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL, 32301