Andrew Jackson Jihad/Ghost Mice split CD

Self-Titled
(Plan-It-X Records)

If we were to take Andrew Jackson Jihad's latest effort at lyrical value alone, we may suggest a suicide hotline for the folk/punk duo comprising Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty. Because we begin visualizing disenfranchised youth snorting coke off a tombstone while reading the Jihad's lyrics, Edgar Allan Poe, or some other depressive goth poetry. "Let Us Get Murdered" ("Let's go to sleep and never wake up/Let's find a loophole out of this") and "Unicron" ("I'd like to build a giant machine/That crushes the mountains and burns all the trees/And pees in the desert and dries out the seas/And melts all the ice caps and makes nature bleed") aren't, obviously, the most uplifting songs. But with energized acoustic accompaniment and Bonnette's raw vocal performances — which are toned down and accessible compared with the band's previous album, Issue Problems — there's a healthy and easily digestible vibe in the tracks, which are all under three minutes each. The 16-track full-length is a split with Bloomington, Indiana-based Ghost Mice, who bookend the album with eight positive tunes of stripped-down folk/punk with an acoustic guitar and violin. Recommended for the gleeful and the morose.

 
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