They do make 'em like they used to. Latter-day landmark discs worth latching on to.
ARTIST Jawbox ALBUM For Your Own Special Sweetheart (1992) AMPLE EVIDENCE OF GREATNESS When this D.C.-area four-piece made its major-label debut in 1994 — after five years and two albums on independent label Dischord Records — many fans cried ”sellout” and turned their backs (and their backpacks) away. Too bad: Sweetheart is Jawbox’s best, a mess of shearing guitars and akimbo rhythm that somehow sounds remarkably streamlined. And like all good post-punk records, it’s got hooks aplenty — though buried deep in the band’s artful abrasion. AWE-INSPIRING TRACK ”Jackpot Plus!,” a fit of slamming desperation that contradicts the chorus’ claim of ”all nerve and no brains.” LINGERING EFFECTS Even after opening on tour for Stone Temple Pilots, the band could get neither Sweetheart nor 1996’s Jawbox to breach college-rock barricades. Dropped by Atlantic, Jawbox called it quits in 1997; guitarists J. Robbins and Bill Barbot went on to form Burning Airlines, while bassist Kim Coletta devoted herself to running DeSoto Records (home of the Dismemberment Plan). In 1997, she and Barbot married — making their time in Jawbox all the more Sweet.
For Your Own Special Sweetheart