Jawbreaker – “Busy” 7”
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2012
There’s something noble about Jawbreaker. Something that brings people together over their love of the band that had the uncanny gift to churn out songs that were both emotionally devastating and badass at the same time. They’re a band I openly love. The big brother I never had. So coming across their very first release was pretty fucking exciting. Despite loving the hell out of this band, I’ve haven’t spent much time with their first album, Unfun, outside of “Busy” and “Want.” I always think the early stuff is gonna sound so much more raw than the later stuff, but honestly it’s just a little bit grittier than 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (the high gloss of Dear You is something else entirely). Blake Schwarzenbach hasn’t really cracked open his terrific pop sensibility at this point. At this point, Jawbreaker feel like the dudes equipped for a hardcore punk band with too much of a jones for true blue emo to be considered Punks. Besides, Schwarzenbach’s lyrics are way too good to bury under some rapid-fire punk rock babble. Jawbreaker made it so you could be sensitive without being a wuss, which I found greatly appealing when I was fifteen because I was a sensitive wuss. Jawbreaker is like permanent nostalgia: A band I love just as much as I did when I was a teenager and will love just as much when I’m fifty. There’s just too much debt. I owe Jawbreaker so much for making the violent world of punk rock accessible without selling out (does anyone even argue about Dear You being selling out anymore or has everyone come around and embraced it?). The b-side, “Equalized,” is raw is hell on every front but the band’s energy is undeniable. It's kind of ridiculous how much potential this band puts on display on their first release. A little bit of that is speaking through the lens of hindsight about one of my favorite bands of all time, but these songs are vital.