It’s not terribly often when I get to say that today’s band might piss you off. They might get under your skin, cause welts, annoy you, and wear on your nerves. All of those things are why I love the band Jar’d Loose, and their new record “Turns 13” is bound to be a love-it-or-hate-it proposition for most.
The Chicago-based band’s second record is a raucous follow-up to their killer debut “Goes to Purgatory,” and the group’s mix of noise rock, early hardcore, gutter rock, ’90s indie, and death metal is one weird amalgamation, but one Jar’d Loose make work incredibly well. Yeah, they might grate at you. But at least you’re feeling something, which you can’t really say for a lot of bands out there today. This band slaps at you, torments you, pokes you hard in the chest, and spits at you without the slightest bit of remorse. But it’s strange because their music is so fun, so filthy that you might find you don’t mind the insults. You also can’t point to another band that sounds like them and packs the same power as Jar’d Loose, another feature that makes them a must-hear group.
At the front of Jar’d Loose is frontman Eddie Gobbo, whose approach and style are fairly hard to explain in words. He’s snotty, confrontational, unhinged, pissed off, deranged, and absolutely impossible to turn away from. He sounds like he could front a death metal band with no problem, yet sometimes his delivery makes me think he could have been a great frontman for an old glam metal band like Faster Pussycat or LA Guns and been awesome. Joining him is guitarist Pete Adam Bialecki, bassist Eva Bialecki, and drummer Phil Hardman (Nate Madden also plays guitar live), and they are a powder keg of a band. They hit hard, leave bruises, and back up Gobbo’s big words and presentation perfectly. Combined, this group has amazing chemistry and a rock-hard fist, and they could appeal to fans of plenty of genres of extreme music, including those listed above.
You get a good idea of what’s in store for you on “Turns 13” right away with opener “The Light Took Us (Black Metal for Pussies)” that really isn’t a black metal song at all but sure has elements of gruff death metal and gnarly, nasty sludge. Gobbo is in command and sounds positively brutal barking out his words, while the rest of the band packs mud and muck on top of everything. “Jackson the Pollock” follows with melodic but scuzzy guitar work, with Gobbo slipping into a talky, shouty delivery that reeks of attitude. He loses his mind later in the song, repeatedly shouting “Innocent!” while the rest of the band clubs behind him. “Summer of Lung” begins with a thick bass/drum assault, with screechy vocals to scrape you and more sludge piled on top, as if delivered by a dump truck. “Adult Prom” sounds like a deranged, drunken tirade, and it’s hilarious even though I’m not sure if it should be. The song is grungy and noisy, with Gobbo poking at grown-ups trying to one-up each other, howling, “Dressing up like it’s adult prom!” “Carrion Guy” is a weird one, but also one of my favorite cuts on the record, as Gobbo shouts, “If the coffin fits, I would sleep in it!” while the band layers dark punishment over everything, and Eva joins in on backing vocals, giving the song a Breeders feel. Great stuff.
“Full Body Cast” flips the script a bit, going a swampy Southern rock route, though maintaining the thorniness of the band’s demeanor. The song swaggers nicely, like it’s soaked in whiskey, and Gobbo howls along, giving you the idea he’s getting into the head of someone who’s not all there. Or maybe that’s just him. “Isthmus” also strays from the norm, letting acoustics settle in, almost like those old Alice in Chains EPs, and Gobbo’s shouts drift into the background, like he’s wailing from the next room while the rest of the band soaks in porch rock humidity. The 7:28-long title track brings the noise back around again, the feedback swelling, more mud piles being created, and the guitars chugging and pounding away. There’s a tasty start-stop tempo that dominates much of the track, and toward the end of the madness, the pace drops to a slow burn and let’s things drown into chaos. Closer “The Yarn Store” lets Gobbo go off one more time, shouting, “Here’s the problem, you’re pathetic,” as the band packs a serious punch along with him, piling on heavy, chaotic noise that matches the lyrical tone of the song perfectly and brings the record to a fitting, bleeding end.
So yeah, Jar’d Loose may chew your nerves, but that’s why I love them. They sound like they plug in and look for ways to piss off anyone they find undesirable. Plus, they sound great as a unit, and they fill a spot so few bands are aiming for these days, when things have become so homogenized and predictable. That’ll never be an issue with Jar’d Loose as they prove on “Turns 13,” a record that breathes a disgusting breath of fresh air into an extreme music world that’s gotten too safe.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/jardloose
To buy the album, go here: http://tpltr.bigcartel.com/product/jar-d-loose-turns-13
For more on the label, go here: http://thepathlesstraveledrecords.com/
And here: http://nefariousrealm.com/