HAPPY JAWBONE FAMILY BAND "Family Matters" c76 [Spooky Town]

If you haven't heard Happy Jawbone Family Band, you've got some work to do. This band is really damn good, I give them my "Best New Band" Grammy or whatever that award is. Apparently, HJFB is a bunch of people who either live in Brattleboro, VT or Boulder, Colorado and they somehow form like Voltron to make the most arresting, ramshackle, brilliant pop music I've heard in a while. Calling out all the great tracks is kinda pointless here as there's pretty much no filler in the 40 songs/76 minutes. They're all great tracks!
I described the tape to a friend as kinda like Hairdryer Peace made by a ragged pop band. The tape is so well put together stitching songs of all varieties of styles and instrumentation along with a few well-made collage pieces. Family Matters flies by exceeding fast for such a long release. This cassette earns its 76 minutes, which is big praise from a c30-or-less enthusiast. I feel really long tapes should be saved for special occasions and this is a special occasion.
The jerks even interrupt my favorite song on the tape with a Wu-Tang-ish skit that takes up more time than the song does but I can't help but love them anyway. Admittedly, the skit is pretty funny.
The tape is obviously the product a bunch of really talented, creative people as there's some really cool aspects here rarely found in lo-fi pop music. For instance, the band is fairly self-referential throughout the tape but the b-side opens with "The Album So Far..." a neat collage, squeezing the past 30 some minutes into one. It's plainly a cool track but it's also funny to see them giving a little wink that this record is so long you need a refresher of what you've heard before you can continue.
Anyhow, this is great. Hooks galore, a constant stream of surprises, a ton of replay value etc. etc. Totally essential, one of the best tapes of the year.


Happy Jawbone myspace