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Dear You
Blackball Records

Jawbreaker's demise in '96 had equally matched the fall of the Bay Area music-scene in general. It was probably a lot more memorable than the entire life-blood of Jawbreaker's success as a whole. Not only were they collectively witnessed switching label to label, and hopping on the strengths and weaknesses of their career, but they made brief transitions in between each album, making it a point to not sit content with one sound. That is why the re-issue of Dear You topples every pre-conception of Jawbreaker on its head, and heads toward a slightly new direction.

With four LP's and approximately two EP's under their belt, Jawbreaker have always lead a thrifty career out of playing in their home-town San Fran Bay-area, and milking their individual creativity in terms of energy and intelligence. Dear You was seen on DGC-records in 1995, but had un-intentionally turned the ears off of resident Jawbreaker fans. In 2003, drummer/producer Adam Pfahler's own BlackBall Records re-released the album, naked as it stood. Hopefully, Dear You stands as a bigger compliment than that of its influenced after-arrivals, which also draws some interest.

More than Minor Threat, Fear and the rebel-energy of '77 punk having a psychosis-influence on Jawbreaker, this re-issue provides proof of the fact that emo-music drew it's name from Dear You. I'm not naming names, but I think we are emo-smart enough to point out the dummies if we see them- not that they are all dummies exactly.... But like all alternatives, Dear You is the least un-important of rock-albums. Blake Schwarzenbach's vocals still careen with intense thought and melodic gavel, Chris Bauermeister's bass jumps the paint of Schwarzenbach's guitar-playing very efficiently, and Adam Pfahler's drumming has the mast of a very dynamic punk style, gradual and driving for all seasons. Better an alternative-punk-regrowth album than a stand-still punk record.

From the opening "Save Your Generation", digressive and slow as slush-trekking, to the driving "Chemistry", to the aptly conversational story-book about punk rock and Led Zeppelin of "Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault", Dear You still carries fun energy and creative driving rock, punk and best wit from singer/guitarist Schwarzenbach. This is a good last-album to turn on after a long day, or a day on the road. 18 songs give this such a charged-up inclusion and each lyrical variant is poetically clever- it turns my jollies on.

"Jet Black" is one that sticks in my mind as all of this.

This a great rock record that clearly shows how much Jawbreaker's music had evolved. Not to mention, it's got a killer enhanced-portion with the full music video of "Fireman".

We should be optimistic that they disbanded only to leave this jewel-of-a-rockin'-record behind.

-Adrian Rose

Track Listing:

1. Save Your Generation
2. I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both
3. Fireman
4. Accident Prone
5. Chemistry
6. Oyster
7. Million
8. Lurker 2: Dark Son Of Night
9. Jet Black
10. Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault
11. Sluttering (May 4th)
12. Bascilla
13. Unlisted Track
14. Shirt
15. Into You Like A Train
16. Sister
17. Friendly Fire
18. Boxcar

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