posted on 4/2006 By:
New Hampshire’s Scissorfight return after five years with their fifth full length album Jaggernaut, their first since Mantrapping for Sport and Profit. Not that they’ve been kicking back, mind you; during the interceding years the band released a live album and a couple EPs. The delayed full length will be a sight for sore eyes (um, except, like, for ears) for fans, who will revel in a full strength dose of the Scissorfight treatment. If you’ve been resistant to that treatment in the past, Jaggernaut won’t do much to change your mind, but it does brim with the same barroom grit, insane grooves, and massive swagger that fans have come to love.
Scissorfight put the barn in barnstorming, as Jaggernaut is on one hand a groove smothered rallying cry of political defiance, and on the others, full-blooded “backwoods motherfuckery” (their words, not mine). They sound like a band that’s riled up and on the move—it’s just not clear whether it’s to the capitol building or a bootlegger. The band’s hillbilly rock for the thinking man gives them an odd personality, but their ability to blend differing, and sometimes contrasting styles and cultural ethos helps the band pull off their divergent elements. Just check out “Appalachian Chain”, where they successfully juggle a well integrated banjo line, highly melodic rock and roll harmonies, a harmonica solo, and a heavy grooving boogie. Tracks like opener “Dynamite”, “Backwoods” and “Digging Grave” smoke with monstrous, rambunctious groove and a grizzly stomp. On the latter, frontman Ironlung challenges “Come and get me fucker, you’ll never hunt me down”. “Victory Over Horseshit”, which appeared on last year’s single of the same name, is a combination political rant/barroom anthem, which finds the band asking “what does it take to get a riot out of me?”. Finally, every once in awhile the band dishes out some back to basics rock and roll, like on “The Dredge”, which sports a hard rock swagger and bluesy harmonica solo that sounds somewhere in the middle of the Black Crowes and Aerosmith. There are a few less convincing moments, but overall, it’s a lot of fun and a damn fine effort. With Jaggernaut, Scissorfight, unlike the elected officials that have earned their ire, gives their people what they want and need.
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