Everyone's favorite sardonic folk duo, Andrew Jackson Jihad, have announced details regarding their new album, Knife Man, due out on Asian Man Records on September 20.
I spoke with bassist Ben Gallaty about the new record.
"Sean [Bonnette, singer/guitarist] gave me a CD of 13 demos in December. The working title for the project was "New Jack City: The Musical," and we booked one week of time to record it with Jalipaz Nelson in March. We spent the interim rehearsing the songs and coming up with arrangements. A few new songs were written along the way. We had originally planned to cut some songs out. After recording, we found ourselves with over 16 songs (some with multiple versions) that we were really proud of," says Gallaty.
Various members of Phoenix bands such as The Roar, Malakai, French Quarter, Porches, and Swell...Adiois were called in to assist.
"Owen Evans, Dylan Cook, Deacon Bachelor, Preston Bryant, Ben Horowitz, Stephen Steinbrink and Shane Kennedy were asked to collaborate with us on this album because they are our dear friends and some of Arizona's most talented musicians," says Gallaty. "Sean has been developing swimmingly as a lyricist and songwriter and we attempted to serve the songs to the best of our abilities."
The album will include "Sad Songs," which Up on the Sun featured an early version of a few months back.
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I was able to hear an early advance of the album. It features some serious up-tempo rockers, like "Sorry Bro," which bounces with classic power-pop zest (and a "Kids of America" refrain), and some new sounds from AJJ, like "No One," with its dirge like tempo and dancing electric pianos. My favorite track from the record is "People II 2: Still Peoplin,'" which opens like something from Oh, Inverted World and proceeds to spin the kind of tale Bonnette excels at, detailing the sights and scenes of Phoenix's destitute and the existential weight of it all, before erupting into a brief flash of rock 'n' roll glory.
The band promises to premier some songs soon -- but in the meantime, just read this tracklist and wonder what songs like "The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving" and "Fucc the Devil" will sound like. Oh, and "Zombie by The Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad" is as awesome as you might expect it to be.
1. The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving
2. Gift of the Magi 2: Return of the Magi
3. American Tune
4. Back Pack
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