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Jawbox - EP

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Album Review

Even upon their arrival, Jawbox actually seemed like more of a Chicago band than a D.C. one, carrying the torch for bands like the then petering out Naked Raygun and the then-late Effigies and Breaking Circus. While the trio's occasional bash-bash-bash rhythms certainly sounded like their roots were firmly entrenched in the D.C. hardcore punk of the '80s, J. Robbins' guitar playing surely took cues from Raygun's John Haggerty more frequently than Minor Threat's Lyle Preslar. Likewise, drummer Adam Wade and bassist Kim Coletta often came up with taut, dense, intricate fireball rhythms to perfectly complement the tension-ridden nature of Robbins' lyrics. From the word go, he proved to be a unique lyricist, often coming up with abstract phrases that left one scratching their head and/or racing for a dictionary. And often the venom is self-directed. The trio's debut EP might sound simplistic and not entirely distinct in relation to the greatness that would follow, but make no mistake — if the group had packed it in after this four-song 7", it would still hold its place as one of the best things to come from Dischord house. [The EP was released in a pressing of 3,000, with three separate color schemes divided evenly. The four tracks can be found on the CD version of Grippe.]


Formed: 1989 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

During their eight-year existence, Jawbox developed into a top-tier post-hardcore band. While they became one of the most notable acts in Washington, D.C. shortly after their late-'80s formation, and were part of a lineage that included the likes of Minor Threat and Rites of Spring, they were favorably compared to Chicago's Big Black, Naked Raygun, and Effigies as well. Scrutinized for leaving D.C.'s beloved Dischord for a major label -- they were the first to do so -- Jawbox nonetheless released...
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