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JOBS - Log On For The Free Chance To Log On For Free

by Jon Burke Rating:6 Release Date:2018-08-31
JOBS - Log On For The Free Chance To Log On For Free
JOBS - Log On For The Free Chance To Log On For Free

The title of the forthcoming album by NYC's own JOBS really sums up the record's entire vibe. LOG ON FOR THE FREE CHANCE TO LOG ON FOR FREE is a truly unwieldy, pretentious, skittering mess of a title befitting an album that is equally as frustrating. The frustration is born not of the musicianship on display--everyone on this thing is immensely talented--but instead from the final product. It's as if the band played a game of avant-garde, musical one-upmanship but couldn't decide when to quit. The result is flashes of brilliance which are immediately diminished, over and over, by bizarre production choices and pointless sonic navel-gazing. Imagine taking none of the lessons learned from No-Wave and then trying to make a US Maple record, but without the lushness or swagger, and then straining it all through the twangy minimalist production of Talking Heads: 77. A few disjointed and seemingly pointless tracks in I wanted to scream at the band: "I get it! Can we move on to the music now?" Instead, I get a wobbly, banging, sixteen-second song made of reverb and hammering drums whose title is just a series of shapes.

Track six, "Came to Take" is the first moment on LOG ON... features the album's first moments of brilliance. The established tempo, boasting a lovely bass sound, gives way to a momentary Slint-esque breakdown that just as quickly disappears back into the original rhythm. Then layers of vocals and another tempo change pick-up the pace and intensity until, two minutes in, everything clicks into a repetitive, anxious spiral... which promptly returns to the song's original, plodding, drum and bass dirge. Next up, "A Path" is eight minutes of almost-a-song; a chiming piano, a bubbly bassline and interesting rhythms that never actually amount to the greatness they hint at. Chanting "Deteriorate beautifully" and "Comfort is essential" ad nauseam in an edgeless, dispassionate tone is the embodiment of inadequacy when murmured over music that never quite finds itself. And to add insult to this injurious tune, JOBS drag this thing out for eight fucking minutes. We're dying here, folks! Entropy is happening all around us. GET ON WITH IT!

"Cell Service" starts out like you'd imagine an outtake from a Primus record would start: blurbs of bass, stuttering drums and a bobbing tempo. A really interesting, tight snare rhythm enters about a minute into the track. "Pink", the album's first single, is underpinned by a humming viola played by the brilliant Jessica Pavone who does yeoman's work here, in much the same way John Cale's viola saved many of the VU's best tracks, by turning her instrument into an industrial saw and destroying everything in earshot. Think Hammer Party-era Big Black and you're approaching the greatness of Pavone's work on LOG ON... It is precisely the lack of edge elsewhere on the album that makes Pavone's performance so brilliant here. In a beautiful screeching assault, Jessica Pavone shows listeners what we've been missing--teeth and passion.

I'm probably wrong about this thing. It might be brilliant and I'm just old and shitty and missing out on the next great thing. But I just cannot fathom the situation in which I'd ever want to listen to LOG ON FOR THE FREE CHANCE TO LOG ON FOR FREE again. 

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