Ever hear of JigGsaw? I didn't think so. I hadn't either, until I stumbled upon the myriad of colors on the rather strange and somehow disturbing cover of their new full-length.
Out now on the interpidly small Playing Field Recordings label in Urbana, IL, the band is more or less the captured spirit of the best college show you've ever been to. Zero Generation is a record of rock songs with no definite origin. There is no one band to whom their sound is easily attributed. Which is why it's so fun to listen to; it's like a fantastic summer mix tape.
The record opens with "Mars," and would turn heads in any Seattle coffee shop, patrons questioning, "Is this a new Divorce single?" At first disappointed it's not a new Divorce track, I beg you to listen on, dear coffee shop patron, to the lovely riffage and melodies that follow.
Next is "Mona Lisa's Mirror"—yes, the song titles are a little odd—a track dedicated to being as bouncy-bouncy as possible with the tremoloed guitar and keyboards, yet still totally rock and roll enough to justify throwing a fist in the air, index and little fingers extended.
The name of the band, with its singular capital "G" in the center, is billed in the liner notes as being the last name of the lead singer/songwriter, Mark JigGsaw. The origins of such a name are unknown to this writer. A hypothetical…
No, there's no time to go into the multiple possibilities of midwestern geneology and nomeclature; time only for the music said Mark makes.
Speaking of sounding like the greatest college band ever, they hail from one of the biggest of college towns (Urbana) and Mark writes great sing-along-drunk-at-a-party lyrics: "Oooo, ooo, you/ smell like hatred/ you (ooo, ooo)/ my favorite lover!" he offers on "Mona Lisa's Mirror." "Give me a bottle of gin… I'll break both your goddamn legs," he sings on "Houses Burning." Imagine, Dear Coffeeshop Patron, the plastic cups of Bud Light; the fish bowl of cash from which one grabs a twenty and pays an annoyed and sleep-deprived pizza delivery man. Zero Generation is a record you listen to while you tell stories about the time Someone fell off the roof, or the time So-and-So hooked up with a waitress from Denny's, or the time That One Guy from Next Door was walking around his backyard naked, picking up the inflatable crocodiles you threw over the fence during the Australian Outback themed party the night before.
Being from Urbana, IL, where much of the population is student population at the University of Illinois, they naturally have a song which addresses the serious issues facing many college students today: "A Fair Warning to an Under Age Lover…" may be just that song.
The song begins: "They're gonna rip your eyelids off and spit culture down your throat." It then continues: "I guess I'm doin' alright/ I got a shotgun and a bottle of wine."
It's like the new "Crash into me," isn't it? If it got played as much as that song did, it wouldn't be a bad thing. At the time of writing this review, I'm on my sixth listen of the record in its entirety, and it's only getting exponentially better. You know, Dear Coffeeshop patron, what I mean by that.
Give the record a listen here. See what you think.