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California native Stephen Malkmus has added a deep-cut notch to his indie-rock belt with the release of Wig Out at Jagbags.

Jagbags is SM’s sixth release with the Jicks and it reveals a certain comfort level with its laidback, catchy tracks.

Opener “Planetary Notion” kicks off the 12-song set with wailing guitars and off-beat drumming played into a comfort jam and then broken up with a screaming guitar solo. On “Rumble at the Rainbo,” Malkmus begins “Come and join us in this punk-rock tomb,” which describes the nostalgic mood of the collection, reconfirmed when he quips, “We are returning, returning to our roots/ No new material, just cowboy boots... No one here has changed, and no one ever will.” “Lariat” reads like a tossed-off afterthought from an aging rock star, as “Chartjunk” is a comical homage to Piston point guard Brandon Jennings.

Throughout the album, the Jicks show their experience with mellow yet engaging instrumentation and bright songs that are a breath of fresh alt-pop air. Jagbags is a win for any listener longing for the lo-fi, fuzz-guitar riffs and free-form lyrics that Malkmus made a name with at the beginning of his 22-year career.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks will perform on March 29 at the Casbah.

  • Album: Wig Out at Jagbags
  • Artist: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
  • Label: Matador
  • Songs: (1) Planetary Motion (2) The Janitor Revealed (3) Lariat (4) Houston Hades (5) Shibboleth (6) J Smoov (7) Rumble at the Rainbo (8) Chartjunk (9) Independence Street (10) Scattegories (11) Cinnamon and Lesbians (12) Surreal Teenagers
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