Punk Retrospective

Jack, Off Jill!

We all have that one special band that reminds us of our angsty teenage years. That band for me is Jack Off Jill. During that time, I used to skip college classes a lot with one of my closest friends, Aleia. Before you ask for clarification, I started attending college at 16 so I was still socially eligible for the teen angst card. Leia owns this awesome purple hunk of metal that sang to me the spirit of liberation. She used to take me for rides in it, sometimes all night, not buying anything with no real destination and the only thing to keep us company in the stillness was Jack Off Jill's “Clear Hearts Grey Flowers” and our then unperfected story-telling techniques.

I must admit that at the very beginning, I didn't enjoy the harsher vocal work in a good deal of the songs so the one that I truly enjoyed was “Vivica” for it's harmoniously depressive nature. In addition to that, I disliked love songs immensely. Their The Cure cover at the end of the album was usually skipped, but I would humor Leia when she wanted to hear it. As time passed, I started to appreciate the angry vocals a lot more and “Lovesong” didn't seem so bad afterall.

This album single-handily made me much more receptive to metal, punk and so much more as I got older. You see, the thing is that most music that I was raised listening to ranged from traditional Egyptian dance music to Egypt's version of Western classical music (it's basically music that keeps the integrity of the Egyptian folk sound while refining it using Western instruments). That type of music usually had one of two effects on you, it either made you want to dance or it made you incredibly sad. There was no chaotic angry sounding music. That being said, the versatile vocal work and bass pervasive music was a great segue way into harsher stuff later on.

One of the most interesting things about Jack Off Jill is it's genre label. Fans are very confused as to what it should be classified as. Some would classify them as riot grrrl, but I highly disagree with that. As covered in another review, riot grrrl was a cultural movement as much as it was a musical one. The inception of Jack Off Jill had nothing to do with that scene. Jessicka, the heart of the band, was discovered by Marilyn Manson during the time that his gig, The Spooky Kids, could have been considered as noise/gothic rock. The main inspiration for the Jack Off Jill's lyrics and music style was The Cure, teenage feminine issues, and Jessicka's brainstorming sessions with Manson. In light of all this, I feel that it is safe to say that this band belongs under the broad label that is gothic rock.

Jessicka's vocals still amaze me and reminds me quite a bit of Katie Garside. She goes from cloyingly sweet to homicidal with some build-up, but a lot of the time the transformation is instantaneous. Instrumentally, the ride is smooth with solid rock drums melodic keyboards, and strong audible basslines that are the highlights in many songs. The guitar doesn't take center stage and, refreshingly enough, there are no guitar solos. Musically and lyrically, this band is one of the least pretentious outfits that I have ever come across. For that, I am very glad because they have helped me push through many tough times. I suppose my ex was partially right when he used to say: “What did I do? You only listen to them when you're pissed.”

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/06%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Author%20Unknown.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Author Unknown Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/07%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Vivica.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Vivica Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/12%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Star%20No%20Star.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Star no Star Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/66%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Lovesong.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Lovesong Link source

Posted by saturnword

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