The first Jabberjaw CD was one of my favorite compilations back in the 90's. It just had a little bit of everything on it and believe me I played it quite a bit. I'd never really gone crazy trying to get the four 7"s that made up the original version of the compilation even though they don't tend to be particularly expensive. However, when I decided that I wanted to complete the Unwound 7" collection, it would never be finished unless I owned this record. So after a few weeks of end of the year and holiday wackiness, Unwound Wednesday is back.
We'll start out with Unwound as they are the entire reason I bought this 7". Their contribution "Broken E Strings" is my absolute, hands down favorite Unwound song. Its slow, quiet verse suddenly explodes into one of the more chaotic choruses you're likely to hear. I could listen to this song over and over and over again. Though the band had many highlights, you'll find none higher than this song.
The other 3 were never really among my favorites on the compilation. I always found Helmet a bit too noisy, but always in a sterile kind of way that I didn't quite understand. "Turned Out" is no exception. I can't say it's inherently bad, but I can't say that I like it either. "Borax" by Slug also isn't going to win any prizes from me. It feels a little directionless, but it is quite loud. So it's got that going for it. Hammerhead's song "Cleaning Woman" would probably be my second favorite on this 7". It has a blazing fast guitar riff, pounding drums and although the singer is quite loud and shouts a lot, he never breaks down into an annoying scream.
Really this 7" is just all about that Unwound song. It's just perfect. You could interchange any other 3 bands around it and it would still be an absolutely essential purchase. Or I guess you could by the Numero Group Unwound box set that has this song on it. That way you'll also end up with a ton of other great Unwound songs.
Unwound - "Broken E Strings":
Helmet - "Turned Out":