Jookabox – Dead Zone Boys

November 21, 2009 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

Jookabox - Dead Zone Boys

Jookabox is the newest iteration of Grampall Jookabox, itself an offshoot, consequence, or some such thing of BIGBIGcar—all of Indiana. Dead Zone Boys is the band’s third album and confirms the Appalachian folk hip-hop moniker labelling previous releases as well and rightly earned. As an honest-to-God Appalachian, I can dig the comparison. Having said that, it bears clarification. Dead Zone Boys is driven by tribal beats, overlaid with psych-pop and garage-punk, giving it a distinct affinity with the shotguns, shacks, and social tension that people outside of Appalachia tend to identify in the region. There is a less significant bluegrass element than in their debut and sophomore albums, but what is there blends with a profound sense of otherness, creating a very different but equally meaningful link to the genre. In the album’s most evocative songs, like “Glyphin’ Out,” Jookabox emphasizes this otherness with unnaturally high pitched lead vocals, that can actually be heard created without effects-aid in Appalachian archival recordings. Another supplements this by referencing geographical difference, saying “I need trees in my life” as the song winds down.

The band’s label, Asthmatic Kitty, describes what David Adamson, Jookabox himself, is doing with Dead Zone Boys: “One hand with mic and the other a shotgun, Jookabox pushes through as troubador and protagonist to free the decayed city and its few outposed survivors of the fear of death.” An oddly accurate seeming bit of graphic whimsy.

For a pre-purchase listen, head over to MBV Music, where the whole album is streaming. For a post-listen purchase, look to Asthmatic Kitty for your fix.




Entry filed under: Music.

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