AJJ Good Luck Everybody
Published Jan 14, 2020With the USA's political climate being the way it currently is, it's surprising it took the always political AJJ until 2020 to release their first full-length statement since 2016's The Bible 2.
On Good Luck Everybody, AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) have updated their sound. They used to fit snugly under the folk-punk tag, but they've branched out to the point where no two songs sound alike. Standout track "Normalization Blues" sounds like it came from a Coen Brothers flick, while "No Justice, No Peace, No Hope" is a full-fledged depressive piano ballad.
Lyrically, AJJ have never been known for being a positive band, but Good Luck Everybody finds them at their most hopelessly nihilistic yet. There are no life-affirming tracks like 2007's "People." In fact, the album's title seems to be an admission of defeat: "Good luck everybody, because we give up."
Unfortunately, this new total-nihilism viewpoint results in many lines that come across as a bit too on-the-nose. Worst offender "Psychic Warfare" is explicitly about wanting to murder President Donald Trump with psychic powers and not much else.
Also, many of these songs feel more like sketches than full-fledged tracks. "Mega Guillotine 2020" doesn't evolve at all over its two minutes, and more than a few songs here follow suit. Overall, there are definitely standouts on Good Luck Everybody, but it seems like AJJ have let their pessimism take over their song- and lyric-writing processes, which has resulted in one of their weakest efforts to date. (Independent)