Andrew Jackson Jihad Gaining Fame

Chris Di Leo

Over the past few years, the Arizonan
folk punk band Andrew Jackson
Jihad has grown in the music community.
They are known for their bizarre
style of dark depressive themes represented
often with very graphic symbolism
like the legendary 90s indie
band Neutral Milk Hotel, but unlike
like NMH they include humor and
lighter themes as well, such as their
30-second track “The Michael Jordan
of Drunk Driving”.
The album was set to be released
on May 6th, but the band has already
leaked all the songs in between their
Sound Cloud and the One Side Dummy
YouTube channel.
This is not an album for those with
very strict morals about topics such as
profanity and lude imagery. It’s not
that the songs are about shallow profane
topics, but that Sean Bonnette,
the lead singer and song writer of
the band, uses profanity and graphic
imagery to convey his emotions and
experiences. This is especially noticeable
in
the second
track on
the album,
Children of
God, which he wrote late at night after
awaking from a fever dream after
falling asleep watching Dracula. This
concept is nothing new to the band’s
style though, as in the song Back Pack
from their 2011 release Knife Man
depicted scenes of a grisly murder to
tell the story of a man who had come
home to find his lover had been killed.
Andrew Jackson Jihad have abandoned
the country blues elements
that have been in previous albums.
The is a much higher usage of violins,
harpsichords and very heavy piano.
There is also much more referencing
of specific
real life people
such as
Stevie Wonder,
Helen
Keller and Linda Ronstadt. Asides
from that, the lyrics deal with their
typical content the various internal
conflicts and fears throughout life.
Since Knife Man, Andrew Jackson
Jihad have further perfected their
style, and could be said to be some of
the best musicians in the folk music
community, as in Christmas Island
they paint a fluid musical picture than
ever before. They will be playing in
Richmond on June 11th at Strange
Matter. Unfortunately the venue is 18
and up admission, so if you are under
18 your best shot is to catch them in
DC when they stop to play at the Rock
n Roll hotel on June 12th with tickets
sold ranging from 10 to 20 bucks.
Christmas Island is possibly their
best work to date. The only gripe is
that it’s not a very casual album and
meant to be listened to by ones lonesome
or all at once, but that’s just the
nature of the music. So if you’re looking
for some new music to listen to,
or a deeper musical experience, give
Christmas Island a shot, even people
who don’t like the band have been
able to appreciate it as quality, well
produced music.

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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