Various Artists

Jabberjaw Compilation, Vol. 2: Pure Sweet Hell

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Most nightclubs in Los Angeles are pretty similar: dim lighting, 21 and over, with mean door people. One of the few places where you could find salvation if you were a penniless, underage sniffly kid was Jabberjaw, a neat, down-to-earth club with old video games, a homely courtyard, and a drink-coffee-with-the-band atmosphere (the club closed in the late '90s). This benefit album came out when the club was hoping to move to a larger location. The Jawbreaker cut "Sister" is revelatory -- one of their best tunes (and it only appeared on this comp). Man or Astro-man?'s "Earth Station Radio" was back when the band was in top form. Local L.A. surf/garage band the Bomboras, known for setting their instruments on fire, dish up a fine "Fiberglass Jungle," while Redd Kross did the retro '70s rock thing as well as anyone. Of course, there are a few memorable stinkers: it's possible Everclear played Jabberjaw once, but their version of a lame Smiths song, where they sing, "I am the sun/I am the air," is completely unacceptable. Also, Mary Lou Lord's dreary, gushy acoustic numbers embodied all that was wrong with coffeehouse/singer/songwriter hippie music. But mostly this is a fine collection of very loud bands like old Jabberjaw favorites Clikitat Ikatowi and godheadSilo, many of which were deeply afraid of L.A.'s ferociously trendy club scene and when in town would only grace Jabberjaw's tiny stage.

blue highlight denotes track pick