Naked Raygun

Jettison

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Occupying the space between the punk movement's departure and the arrival of grunge, Jettison is a definitive link between the two musical genres and, with its speedy slashing and grinding, is the most jarring and diverse of Naked Raygun's albums. Electrocuting guitars, pummeling drum beats, and unmerciful vocals, which combine the Misfits' "whoa-oh-oh" vocal with Naked Raygun's own straight-talking dirge, collaborate to make Jettison part art-rock dissonance, part down-your-throat punk. Pierre Kezdy's bass gurgles blood on one track, and is swampy on the next. Vocalist Jeff Pezzati's fast-talks like an auctioneer at one point, then sandblasts on the following turn. Throughout, John Haggerty's guitar buzzes and hacks, finally reaching its zenith on "Suspect Device," in which you could swear trees are being severed at their roots. Cementing everything together is Eric Spicer's drumming, which could easily pass as a battery of guns all firing at once. Moreover, the working-class ethic of Naked Raygun's sound consistently shines, whether its on the anthemic "Vanilla Blue" or the punk/big-guitar rock feel of "Coldbringer." Lyrically, while 1985's Throb Throb thrives on military politics, Jettison burns on the images and realities of a conservative-led nation, and on the social rules of the city; "Ghetto Mechanic" captures the essence of inner-city freelance labor as well as any song before or since. Quarterstick's reissue of Jettison adds three live bonus tracks to what is already a phenomenal album, a record that is a harbinger of bands like Fugazi and Shellac. Recorded at Chicago's Riviera Theater in November 1987, the live material has meaty guitars that are sprinkled with metallic flakes; one just has to close their eyes to imagine the mosh pit that formed in front of the stage that fall night.

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