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While peddling fare such as the burdens of loneliness and self-loathing, Andrew Jackson Jihad also explores the plight of the homeless en route to one of this year's most human releases. Through 16 folk-punk constructions, frontman Sean Bonnette dissects all the pain in the world from a variety of nuanced avenues. He speaks of creating music in lieu of therapy, and with all the cynical misery tucked into the notes, one would hope it's working.

The duo's gritty Americana-infused ramblings are equal parts inspiring and humorous, as evidenced by leadoff track "The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving." Any preachiness is leveled out by self-deprecation, such as Bonnette's tale of drinking himself to sleep in the wake of a devastating breakup.

Familiar chord progressions let the message rise above a well-produced stew of distorted guitars, kazoos, and organs. "I'm a straight white male in America, I've got all the luck I need," Bonnette wails on the anti-pity party of "American Tune." The singer is clearly aware of his quasi-selfish existential predicament in the context of global suffering. With a heavy heart, he employs witty narratives to rail against the apathy he sees surrounding him in a refreshing, unpretentious manner.

  • Album: Knife Man
  • Artist: Andrew Jackson Jihad
  • Label: Asian Man Records
  • Songs: (1) The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving (2) Gift of the Magi 2: Return of The Magi (3) American Tune (4) Back Pack (5) Distance (6) Fucc The Devil (7) Hate, Rain on Me (8) If You Have Love in Your Heart (9) No One (10) Sad Songs (Intermission) (11) Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad (12) People II 2: Still Peoplin' (13) Sorry Bro (14) Skate Park (15) Free Bird (16) Big Bird
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