Thursday, July 25, 2019

J. Robbins - Un-Becoming LP


Dischord (2019)

I discovered the world of J. Robbins much later than most other folks my age.  I was very lucky that Jawbox was one of my wife's favorite bands, so that inspired me to give them another listed after I had pretty much written them off in the 90s.  The fact that I ended up liking Jawbox as much as I did led me to digging into other bands like Burning Airlines and Channels. With a body of work as large as Robbins has, it's difficult to talk about his newest release without calling back to prior triumphs.

The good news is that if you have liked J. Robbins other bands, there's essentially no way you won't also love Un-Becoming.  As a whole, I find that it leans to the catchier side of his previous bands.  Song like "Anodyne" and "Abandoned Mansions" seem like they could probably have fit in with Burning Airlines pretty easily.  But, Un-Becoming still has plenty of moments where Robbins takes detours into songs significantly less straight forward,

"Our Own Devices" is built off of a guitar riff that is frankly kind of bizarre, but the rest of the song coalesces around it making it one of the best songs on the album.  "Kintsugi" is a sort-of electronic soundscape that pops up at the end of side one.  While I don't really like it that much as a standalone song, it makes sense within the context of the album and allows for a chance to catch your breath before diving into the second half of the record.

Chances are, if you like Jawbox or Burning Airlines, you probably have this record already if you know that it came out.  But if you're not familiar, this would be a pretty decent starting point to get a well rounded look at the styles of songs J Robbins is a master at creating.

J. Robbins - Un-Becoming:

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