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Jawbox

For Your Own Special Sweetheart (Reissue)

Desoto 53

Released on November 24, 2009

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Jawbox was born circa 1989, clawing their way from the primordial pond of DC's raucous, vibrant, Dischord driven underground to claim a seat of honor at the table of what eventually came to be called “postharDCore.” The racket raised by the four members - J. Robbins, Kim Coletta, W. C. 3dB Barbot, and Zach Barocas - was suitably loud, occasionally fast, and spirited enough live to move the punkers around the dance floor in something considerably less than a decorous fashion. But by the time the mature band came to record their third full-length, their first for a major label after amicably leaving Dischord, they had distanced themselves somewhat from their purely post-punk roots and were more intent on breeding strident wolves clad in a pop song's clothing. For Your Own Special Sweetheart, whose title was cribbed from the box blurb for a Barbie doll, was released by Atlantic Records right around Valentine's Day 1994, to cries of both “genius” and “sellout” to their respectively thrilled and bemused fans. As they toured, praise accumulated. Although the foursome lasted 3 years and a final full-length before the inevitable break-up, critics and fans alike still view Sweetheart as the band at its peak, with its heavy rhythms, guitar-driven noise, and hooky melodies proving the signature to Jawbox's sound. But the two-record stint on Atlantic proved problematic for keeping the record alive on vinyl and CD; despite the praise, the collection quickly went out of print. Further, the band often bemoaned the “missing mid-range” and anemic-sounding low-end of the final release. A dusting-off was due, and salvation came in the form of Dischord and Chicago Mastering Service's Bob Weston. The former agreed to re-release the record on both CD and vinyl; the latter was the obvious choice for the remaster, given his long history both with the band and with the genre. The resulting release on CD includes the entire original collection, plus three additional tracks that originally appeared on the Savory + 3 EP released by Atlantic in 1994. The vinyl version includes a coupon to enable free digital download of all songs, including the bonus tracks.

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Ammar from Wichita, KS 
Jan 2 2010 Rating: 5/5 Stars

To me, this is a landmark record. This band has a sound that sits right on a fine line between angular and catchy... and it's all done seamlessly and with balance. This album was originally released in 1994, but even today it has a feel that is entirely new. If you like early 90's post-hardcore (Quicksand, Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, etc.) you'll really dig this.





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