JigGsaw Zero Generation

Zero Generation started out where many great albums often come from — the mind of an artist who’s been living in a storage shed, sans plumbing. For some reason, this kind of hardship tends to lead into great music, which is what happened with front-man Mark JigGsaw. This full-length debut from the Illinois quartet encompasses an array of styles and emotions. The opening track "Mars” is a melancholic, guitar-fuelled journey that tears itself apart again and again. In contrast, "Mona Lisa’s Mirror” is more steeped in tinges of power pop and memorable breakdowns. The album’s scope veers off once again with "Holly Brown,” a driven track that gets stuck in a dance groove yet still maintains JigGsaw’s manic guitar orientation. It also somehow combines qualities not unlike grunge-era great Nirvana as the song goes right off the edge into a blend of frothy feedback and dizzying energy. The title track gives way for a combination of all of these elements and more, as it drills itself into a spiral of angst-ridden hooks. Zero Generation is an album that happens in layers, and it gets better and better each time it unravels a little more. (Shooting at Decoys)