Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Album Review: Big Jaw: Appetite For Construction

You'd never expect a guy dressed like Don Draper to rock, but Clint Roth, the mastermind behind Big Jaw, proves he's up to the task. Though only six tracks long, Appetite For Construction shows great versatility and personality.

"I'm Gonna Take You Home Tonight" mines gritty, blues-based rock territory in both sound--a wall of huge power chords and searing solos--and lyrics, with Clint singing "I know you're feeling/What I'm feeling/Just know that I'm gonna take you home tonight." "One Thing" continues in the same vein, combining monster riffs with an "I'll make you mine" lyrical manifesto.

"Darla" shows a flash of introspection, as Roth nervously contemplates the idea of always and forever. "It always seems like no one's ever happy/With what marriage brings/Why would we mess with a good thing," Roth sings to his lover, encouraging to her to take mind off matrimony and live in the moment. The new wave sounding "Wait," with its tender "doo doo" background vocals, bouncy, harmonic guitars and subtle electronic effects, is another standout.

Roth returns to blues-rock for the explicit kiss-off "#8," and album closer "We Can Have It All." The latter track finds the singer both reminiscing over and trying to mend a broken relationship. "Come be with me/Let's try to have it all/At least right now," Roth pleads. Perhaps Roth is more like his fashion inspiration in more than just appearance. Like Draper, he's living like there's no tomorrow, because there isn't one. Appetite For Construction transforms this urgency in a fun, versatile album.


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