Various - Until the Shaking Stops: A Salute to Jawbox (Cover Artwork)


Until the Shaking Stops: A Salute to Jawbox (2004)

Two Sheds

Jawbox's career is highly reminiscent of one of their contemporaries who also happened to share the Jaw- prefix. They started out on indie Dischord Records, and released two albums through the label while undoubtedly putting up with many Fugazi comparisons, as many on the label do to this day. They eventually signed to Atlantic releasing two more albums. As is the classic story, they were shunned by many of their former fans even though albums they released continued to be excellent. Eventually breaking up, the band continues to be unfairly overlooked by many in the modern scene, even though many of the members remain active in it. Well, here is a tribute hoping to help change that in any way possible, featuring some of the rising stars of the indie world, some of its mainstays...and Black Cross.

The issue of tributes themselves are highly debated, people often wondering whether they're necessary or about the bands desecrating beloved classics. But with bands such as Red Animal War and Colossal, I'm certainly not complaining. As is also usually the case with tribute albums oftentimes, your favorite tracks stem primarily from songs you already enjoyed by the band, or if you already enjoy the band performing the song. Many bands on this tribute were still able to surprise me though.

Admirably, few of the bands simply regurgitate Jawbox's songs; most of them attempt new things, for better or worse. Retisonic starts things off with an almost dancey version of "Cooling Card," accomplishing this while still changing little of the song's actual structure. Actionslacks delivers the track "Iodine," a slower of Jawbox's tracks which fits the piano-centric approach they choose to use and is very satisfying overall. The Actual choose to add some acoustic guitar to "Static," and overall isn't a bad offering excusing the slightly nasal vocals. Black Cross, the definite oddball of the tribute, actually find a middle ground between the respective sounds on "Tools and Chrome." While Jawbox was known to get aggressive on tracks, Black Cross's distinct vocals definitely separate it from the original. Offerings from Colossal and Red Animal War on "Spit-Bite" and "Cutoff" respectively differ little from the original, down to the soothing tenor of the vocalists, with the exception of additional clean guitars from Colossal, but are still great additions. The Life and Times's "Green Glass" is one of the tracks I'm not huge on, mainly because their ambience doesn't suit the track well in my opinion. The exclusion of tracks like "Savory" is slightly baffling, though understandable considering its relative popularity and likelihood to be covered in other places. I won't go into anymore detail but be advised that each track on this compilation has something to offer

While Jawbox has failed to receive the resurgence that bands like Jawbreaker have felt, this tribute is proof that they are continuing to influence bands. J. Robbins has even produced the albums by a good amount of bands on this, and hopefully more of today's youth will wise up to that.