Album Review
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man Album Cover

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man

Reviewed by
Andrew Jackson JihadKnife Man
Record Label: Asian Man
Release Date: September 20, 2011
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Lost in the jungle, you'd never know what to expect: anaconda attacks, red flaming arrows, and unidentifiable creatures that creep in the moonlight. Somewhere in the kooky maze of shenanigans, there's a duo sneaking around by way of Phoenix, Arizona. That duo is a rare species known as Andrew Jackson Jihad (a folk outfit comprised of Sean Bonette and Ben Gallaty, who are surrounded by other musicians from time to time). And although their latest effort is entitled Knife Man, they won't be slicing anyone with the proverbial knife. Not yet, at least.

As Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns introduced quirky bare-bones folk, People Who Can Eat Are the Luckiest People in the World toyed with jack-in-the-box Nazis and cannibals poised to bring eventual doom, and its successor, Can't Maintain, got down and dirty with a lusty sax and kazoo hypnotisms. The band's album progression mirrored an adventurous scaling of Machu Picchu, in the sense that rhythm sections and more fully-rounded compositions were visible flag points in each production milestone.

Knife Man is no exception to the pattern of progression. In sixteen musical tales, it semi-pawns acoustics for a distorted makeover, ghostly experimental effects, and fires conundrums that are direct and personable. And as always, it comes with a cherry of nutty humor on top (see short opener "Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving" and "Zombie by the Cranberries by AJJ" for hints). Acoustic number "Fucc The Devil" immediately boards the sexual expletives train making it opportune to take a fun jab at one of the Devil's many orifices.

If the poppy jingle that's patriotically entitled "American Tune" doesn't make an obvious enough lyrical expectation, it echoes similarities to "Fuck White People" (Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns), with lines such as "if I see a penny on the ground, I leave it alone and fucking flip it/I'm a straight white male in America, I got all the luck I need," nailing articulate diatribes on skin color, gender, and sexual orientation to the walls.

From an instrument perspective, the bizarre musical themes expressed throughout the album (slower-paced "No One" showcases Bonnette's wide-ranging bluesy pipes, and "Sad Songs" cues in a cowboy saloon-era style intermission) pour more than sensible cohesion into their tell-all narratives on violence, destitution, apathy and spiritual sadism via clunky organs, electric pianos, mandolins, slide guitars, unruly brass appearances, and metronomic washboards.

Knife Man is synonymous to the gritted teeth and theatrical story lining of a clever manic depressive duo on a wild ride of political blindsiding and folk-rock maturity.

Choice Track: "Back Pack"

Recommended If You Like: Ghost Mice; Bomb The Music Industry; Spoonboy

Tracklisting1. The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving
2. Gift of the Magi 2: Return of the Magi
3. American Tune
4. Back Pack
5. Distance
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

Website | Pre-order the album
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16
10:09 AM on 08/22/11
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algae's Avatar
Score too low, amirite? How long is the album?
10:23 AM on 08/22/11
Dre Okorley
The Inexplicable
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No Avatar Selected
Score too low, amirite? How long is the album?
The album is 43 minutes long.

It's for sure a major improvement from their last albums, but I'm an old curmudgeon who adores People Who Can Eat and the rawer production. New album's excellent for sure. His lyrics are always praise worthy.
01:10 AM on 08/26/11
No Retreat, No Regrets.
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Goat01's Avatar
AJJ have one of the most fun live shows I've ever seen.
01:22 AM on 08/26/11
Stay Hungry. Stay Free.
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dannylololol's Avatar
Really excited to pick this up. That line about the penny is amazing
05:10 AM on 08/26/11
The World Won't Listen.
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GoWaitInTheCar's Avatar
I've been a fan of these guys for quite awhile. I think both of their full lengths are fantastic. Despite a few of the ratings being average, it seems as though this sounds like Can't Maintain, only better. So I'm more then excited.
06:57 AM on 08/26/11
Registered User
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nsgob22's Avatar
I am excited to see them with Frank Turner, that is going to be big for them.
Asian Man Records has a great pre order.
10:09 AM on 08/26/11
3ver So Sweet
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3ver So Sweet's Avatar
good review, just recently discovered AJJ, but i am eager to hear this.
11:32 AM on 08/26/11
No Closer To Heaven
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Jaytothesyg's Avatar
All my friends love them but I never really tried getting into them I love the songs I've heard so I'm gonna check them out right now actually.

Especially since I'm seeing them with Frank and IIOI
07:38 PM on 08/26/11
Anarchist Cat Owner
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AP_Punk's Avatar
so excited for this album. sounds like i'll love it, as usual when it comes to AJJ.
01:36 AM on 08/31/11
Registered User
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InkFingers's Avatar
Never really know what to expect from these guys (aside from the clever lyrics and folky undertones) -- but I feel they're extremely diverse when it comes to the other instruments. I'm looking forward to seeing what new things they've implemented this time around.

Also... They have a song called Free Bird? Genius!
09:31 AM on 09/02/11
Alligator Blood
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Alligator Blood's Avatar
Going through my first listen of this. Could be one of my favorites of the year so far. Really great album.
10:24 PM on 09/12/11
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xSpillFiction's Avatar
flawless record.
02:25 PM on 10/30/11
Registered Member
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low_rising's Avatar
album rules
11:09 AM on 06/21/12
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No Avatar Selected
Indeed, great album. People Who Eat People will likely always be my favorite, but Knife Man is a close second.

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