AJJ - Good Luck Everybody (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Good Luck Everybody (2020)


For all intents and purposes, while AJJ may have tamed their name down for the sake of political correctiveness, the best way to describe Good Luck Everybody is a jihad on the Donald Trump administration.

I've enjoyed their style of indie/folk/punk and it's always nice to get something that doesn't sound too Front Bottoms-ish in terms of message. Sure, love, life, death and all the experiences in between make for a fun ride but this is akin to something Desaparecidos would put out thematically as the lyrical content from Sean Bonnette and Co. is scathing to say the least. Off the cuff, you can see why Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevenson are a part of this record with a warm musical style that couches, well, which masks the political blasts about to unfold. Think of Chris Farren meets Anti-Flag, or something of that nature. I mean, on this track -- "A Poem" -- it's not like I haven't heard and loved AJJ's political spin, but once again, it just feels like a dam collapsing.

"Normalization Blues" is another dig at the odious way they see Trump's reign, jabbing at his tweets and overall how society's decaying due to consumerism, capitalism and the narcissism of the digital era. It's a perfect snapshot of the world we live in today and best sums up how nihilistic the record is, as the title implies. It's even more poignant in an election year that's heating up as we speak.

Honestly, these messages apply to almost any country, and as an outsider it's more than Republicans vs. Democrats, it's about fighting to save the soul of your nation from things like racism, gun control, school shootings, bullying and unfair taxes. That's how much of an opinionated sociopolitical commentary this is and I couldn't love it more as a provocateur. The thing is, it's fucking reality, it's not even playing Devil's advocate.

Songs like "Feedbag" feed into this depressive overarching umbrella as well, but I must say I love the buzz, reverb and feedback on what feels like a Bright Eyes song about theft and bigotry. I'd prefer more of these than just acoustics, which is why the piano-driven "No Justice, No Peace, No Hope" stands out for me a bit more as well. The same goes for how they kick it up indie-style on "Loudmouth" -- weighing on Trump's usual disposition on the mic as well as the neverending war regarding issues like fake news and people against social media warriors. When you do take all this into account, as much as you love the music, I'll admit I do want the album to age badly because I really don't want to have to listen to it years later and still say this is the world we're living in. Then we're truly fucked and that's what AJJ is trying to highlight.

Ultimately, it's an eclectic trip and as the record closes out, the orchestral feel of "Psychic Warfare" just asks you to stay strong, maintain PMA and fight for what's right. I could appreciate this as it's got some anarchy to it and an air of sedition, but fuck it, put it out into the world and let's will that shit to happen. After all, isn't that what catchy, jangly, saccharine music was made for? Wishing dictators and Nazis met their just due? Sounds about right to me.