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Jookabox – Dead Zone Boys (Asthmatic Kitty)

January 20, 2010

Forgetting the Grampall, Jookabox returns with their third album, inciting more fucked up genius than you can stuff down your oversized trousers in a CCTV-less pound shop.

Like a forewarning of the next 40 minutes ahead, the death-awakening marching beat of the opener ‘Phantom Don’t Go’ shudders through the system and the mayhem begins. It’s a Pandora’s box full of genres, all crushed into tight living quarters and suffocating on each other’s air but the resounding apocalypse is glorious. Soul-crunching rhythms and percussion build a solid foundation for every track, almost as if bandleader David ‘Moose’ Adamson found the gate to the underworld only to be met by a troop of souls damned to drum until their palms bled out.

But even if Dead Zone Boys is inspired by Moose’s upbringing in the least desirable part of Indianapolis and the recession-busted rubble of his surroundings, there is an ecstatic gospel sitting spritely on the surface of each cacophonous track. ‘Phantom Don’t Go’ is quickly followed by ‘Don’t Go Phantom’ bursting forth with a rousing chorus of ‘I’m in love with you, I’ll do anything you want me to do’. And banjo-banger ‘You Cried Me’ only serves to expand on that joy. Noisy, metropolitan love songs back to back.

The only problem with Dead Zone… is that after ‘Glyphin Out’ the album takes a slight downturn, like last five tracks are the neglected suburbs of this city’s soundtrack. A rare moment of calm is served on ‘Evil Guh’ and ‘XXXiawn Shell’, two woozy swellings in between the cracks of thumping concrete, the first much sexier than the latter.

But after that, ‘Zombie Tear Drops’ doesn’t catch up to the flow, lagging and dragging behind its precursors such as ‘Gonna Need Guns/Doom Hope’, another bass hunting miner of a track sitting pretty in the first half of the record.

But the fault in this is so minor that it hardly shows up in the Richter scale. Jookabox’s psychedelic gospel has been sung, an ecstatic fanfare loud enough to wake the hounds of hell.

[Originally reviewed for Bearded]


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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 2, 2010 9:22 pm

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post!

    Robert Shumake

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