Manchester Roadhouse

There's always more to the leftfield rock coterie than meets the eye....

There’s always more to the leftfield rock coterie than meets the eye. In the case of clunk-punk meisters Jawbox, there was so much beyond the surface that the surface became a frustrating hurdle that never quite allowed for popular approval.

Which means that ‘My Scrapbook…’ – a comprehensive abridgement of their eight years of lateral-thinking rock’n’roll – is anything but easy listening. See, they wanted more than simple punker adulation; they wanted artistic respect within punk rock confines Which is a no-win situation.

Jawbox always adhered to the idea of setting their pop tones within a wall of unpalatable, passionate noise: all obscure Discord-U-Like rhythm patterns and dissonance. While this may give deep reverence to the likes of ’68’ and the heroic ‘Dreamless’, it effectively galvanised their subterranean pop status.

The final seven covers exemplify this contradiction perfectly. From The Cure‘s ‘Meathook’ to The Minutemen‘s ‘It’s Expected I’m Gone’, the duality of Jawbox‘s motivation was as schizophrenic as it was exhilarating. Quite frankly, the sort of fucked-up approach that rock’n’roll desperately needs in these achingly formulaic times.