Issue November 12, 2013

Happy Jawbone Family Band

Happy Jawbone Family Band
MEXICAN SUMMER

Like a younger, patchouli-er, campfire version of Guided by Voices, Vermont psych-poppers Happy Jawbone Family Band arrive on our speakers after years of releasing a string of records to mostly deaf ears. The band has recorded so much music, they even have a Christmas album! Like GBV, this means their recent surge in exposure delivers a band aesthetic fully formed and loaded with confidence. Happy Jawbone Family Band shaves away the lo-fi scuzzy charm of their past six albums to shine a light on their jewel-encrusted catchiness. Loopy titles like “I Have To Speak With Rocky Balboa” are backed up by poetic lyrics that connect in disorienting ways. There is a wealth of emotion, but we’re not sure exactly if it’s heartbreak or happiness we’re feeling. A nifty trick that serves this oddball album perfectly.