Music: Andrew Jackson Jihad
The older I get, the more articulate I am at whining.
"I hate whiny fucking songs like this
But I can't afford a therapist
Here's a solo."
—Andrew Jackson Jihad, "Distance"
Andrew Jackson Jihad is an American folk punk band from Phoenix, Arizona. The band was formed in 2004 when its original drummer, Justin James White, approached Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty, who have remained the only two constant members of the band since.
The band are noteworthy for their minimalist sound
, self-deprecating wit, comically dark lyrics, and ability to write ridiculously catchy songs about very strange things
. They have released four studio albums and one live album:
- People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World (2007)
- Can't Maintain (2009)
- Knife Man (2011)
- Live at the Crescent Ballroom (2013)
- Christmas Island (2014)
Their first album, Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns
(2005) was self-produced.
The band provides examples of:
- Knight in Sour Armor: There's a lot of real heart behind all that darkness. Especially clear on Knife Man tracks like "Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad" and "People II 2: Still Peoplin'."
- Odd Couple: The main two members of the band are a social worker and a gravedigger, which should paint a fairly accurate picture of the band's worldview.
- Those Two Guys: Sean and Ben, the only two constant members of the band.
- Wunza Plot: See Odd Couple.
Their music provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: Sean's 'mentor' in "Sad Songs" calls him Steve.
- Album Title Drop: The final lyric on Knife Man is its title, but it's nearly impossible to hear.
- "People" comes very close to dropping the title of People That Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World, but ultimately doesn't.
- Alcoholic Parent: "'Nother Beer."
- The Alcoholic: "Fucc the Devil:"
The flask is an alcoholic's paintbrush
The flask is an alcoholic's toothbrush
I need to go throw up now
- And That's Terrible: Said verbatim in "People II 2: Still Peoplin'."
- Anti-Love Song: "I Love You," a love song from the point of view of a bigoted, sadistic, misogynistic, homophobic, and overall crude and detestable character.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "People II: The Reckoning"; "Child pornographers and cannibals, and politicians too."
- Artistic License – Biology: In "People II"; "Your parasympathetic nervous system reacts, and you're in fight-or-flight mode." It's the sympathetic nervous system. This is a big deal to med students.
- Audience Participation Song: "Big Bird," "Bad Bad Things," "People II: The Reckoning."
- The final lines of "People II 2: Still Peoplin'."
- Awesome but Impractical: "Still Smokin'." "Smoking is like hiring a hit man for five dollars a day, and as cool as that is, I don't wanna keep dying this way."
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Inverted in "Let Us Get Murdered."
- Bittersweet Ending: Knife Man concludes with "Big Bird."
- Black Comedy: As black as the void of space is empty. It's generally used as a way of slightly lightening the mood of their extremely bleak music.
- "Smoking Makes You Cool" is about how smoking killed Sean's grandfather and will probably kill him one day.
- Call Back: "Big Bird" reprises some of the lyrics from "Distance."
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Gift of the Magi 2: Return of the Magi."
- Covert Pervert: One of the fears listed in "Big Bird" is that "you all know I am a pervert."
- Cover Version: They've played snippets of "Zombie" by the Cranberries in concert... not to be confused with the song they wrote themselves called "Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad."
- Country Matters: "We Didn't Come Here to Rock." Generally changed to "balls" during live performances.
- Crapsack World: "Hope is for presidents and dreams are for people who are sleeping."
- Department of Redundancy Department: In "Rejoice"; "Your hair, it smells like burning hair."
- Combined with Non Indicative Name: "Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad" by Andrew Jackson Jihad. It is not a cover of "Zombie" by the Cranberries.
- Disappeared Dad: Sean's dad abandoned him.
- From "Who Are You:" "Thank you so much for not raising me / you spent your life on better things / and you would have been an awful dad / thank you though for those genes you had!"
- Downer Ending: People The Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World seems to avert this with the highly idealistic "People".
- However, the song's sequel, "People II: The Reckoning", which appears earlier in the album, is very cynical, so it may just be subverted.
- Dull Surprise: "David J. is a Siccness:" "It was then that I found I am a vampire..."
- Fading into the Next Song: "Brave as a Noun" transitions flawlessly into "Survival Song."
- The rain at the end of "Free Bird" can be heard at the beginning of "Big Bird," and some versions of Knife Man include the opening chords of "Back Pack" at the end of "American Tune."
- "Heartilation" into "Self Esteem."
- "Temple Grandin" segues into "Children of God."
- "We Shall All Die Alone Someday" into "Forest Fire."
- Functional Addict: "Inner City Basehead History Teacher." "I dunno what I'm gonna do, but I'm probably gonna get high!"
- Genre-Busting: "Big Bird" was conceived as "sixties girl-group pop, like Phil Spector-style, combined with doom metal."
- Growing Up Sucks: One of the subjects discussed in "A Song Dedicated To The Memory Of Stormy The Rabbit".
- And, unsurprisingly, in the song "Growing Up".
- Incredibly Long Note: The end of "People II 2: Still Peoplin'," especially live.
- Kids Are Cruel: "Getting Naked, Playing With Guns."
- List Song: "Big Bird"
- Long Distance Relationship: Sean is in one with his girlfriend. This is what "Distance" is about, and possibly "I Wanna Rock Out in My Dreams."
- Long Title: People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World
- That album's eighth track, "A Song Dedicated To The Memory Of Stormy The Rabbit"
- "Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad."
- Looped Lyrics: From the reddit AMA that the band did:
Greenautobus: can I buy a salad glove?
AJJTheBand: you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove you can buy a salad glove
- Love Martyr: "Love in the Time of Human Papillomavirus"
- Mercy Kill: "Temple Grandin." Made more explicit in "Temple Grandin Too."
- Metaphorgotten: "Fucc the Devil" consists entirely of one of these.
- Miniscule Rocking: As a punk band, this happens frequently. "The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving" is only twenty seconds long and contains a single stanza.
- Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: They have a pretty wide range. "People" is a 1, while "Backpack" is a 9.
- Mood Dissonance: Apparent in many, if not most of the band's songs.
- Murderers Are Rapists: Averted with "Bad Bad Things"; the mother in the family offers her body to the killer in exchange for the life of her family but he continues without mercy.
- Non-Appearing Title: "People II: The Reckoning," "People II 2: Still Peoplin'," "Bad Bad Things," "Heartilation," "Love in the Time of Human Papillomavirus," "Dipping Things in Stuff," "American Tune," "Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad," "This is Why I'm Hot"
- Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Parodied in the titles of "People II: The Reckoning," "People II 2: Still Peoplin'," and "Gift of the Magi 2: Return of the Magi."
- The band has joked that their next album will feature "People II 2 Act II: The Peoplening."
- One-Word Title: "Rejoice" and "People".
- Our Slogan Is Terrible: The Salad Glove: fist-fuck your hunger!
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Can't Maintain tends not to get mentioned in critical discussions about the band, being overshadowed by the irreverent weirdness of People That Can Eat People and the sprawling ambition of Knife Man. Even so, it is generally considered by fans to be among their best works.
- Parody Commercial: The Crescent Ballroom performance of "People II 2: Still Peoplin'" features Sean narrating an advertisement for the salad glove during the extended bridge.
- Power Ballad: "Big Bird" and "Back Pack" qualify, though they're particularly bizarre and unconventional examples of this trope.
- Precision F-Strike: "Rejoice", "Brave as a Noun," "Sad Songs"
- Rage Against the Reflection: The killer in "Bad Bad Things" loses his cool after he sees his own reflection ("a coward who you and i both hate very much") in his victim's eyes.
- "And I smashed those tiny mirrors inside of your skull!"
- Rearrange the Song: As the band has gained members, new versions of older songs have popped up in live performances. These include a fast-paced, more obviously 'punk' version of "People II: The Reckoning" and a more grandiose, metal-influenced version of "Unicron."
- Recycled Lyrics: "Little Prince" & "Dipping Things in Stuff."
- "I am at the mercy of emotions of my better friends," - "And my emotions are at the mercy of my best of friends."
- Religion Rant Song: "Rejoice" is Type 1. "Gift of the Magi 2," to an extent, though it tempers the harsher sentiments- "fuck God, anyway! God is obsolete!"- with "well, my god thinks my jokes are funny..."
- Running Gag: The Salad Glove, an exciting new product by Andrew Jackson Jihad...
- References to Nic Cage movies recur throughout their discography ("Heartilation," "Coffin Dancer," "Angel of Death").
- Self-Deprecation: "And if you think you're better than me, you're right!" ("Heartilation")
- "Personal Space Invader" ends with a brief pause followed by someone saying "...sounds like shit."
- Serial Killer: The viewpoint character of "Bad Bad Things" and "Lady Killer".
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Brave as a Noun"/"Survival Song."
- "Free Bird" and "Big Bird" work as this on Knife Man. On the Christmas Island tour, "White Face, Black Eyes" served as the lead-in to "Big Bird" instead.
- Shout-Out: They sometimes name their songs after other songs ("This is Why I'm Hot," "Zombie by the Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad," "Free Bird") sometimes with minor alterations in the title ("Love Will Fuck Us Apart").
- The title of "Fucc the Devil" is a reference to Sacramento horrorcore rapper Brotha Lynch.
- "Do Re and Me" references hardcore punk band Man is the Bastard. "Coffin Dance" and "Angel of Death" reference Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans ("shoot him again, I can see his soul dancing...").
- Sole Survivor: In "Bad Bad Things", the singer is addressing the only surviving member of a family he killed.
- Stepford Consumer: "You know, before the Salad Glove, I was really going nowhere in life."
- Stuffed In The Fridge: "Back Pack" was inspired by the prevalence of this trope in action movies.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Unicron."
I deserve displeasure
And I really want to cry
because I am a werewolf.
- Take That: "Scenesters."
Oh my god, there's assholes everywhere!
Pretentious fucking assholes everywhere!
- Take That, Critics!: "We Didn't Come Here to Rock."
- Three Chords and the Truth
- Title: The Adaptation: "Guilt: The Song"
- Title Track: They've sort of tiptoed around this a few times. "People" comes close to being People That Can Eat People's title track but technically isn't, and they have an unreleased song called "I Am the Knife Man" which would have been this for Knife Man had it not been cut.
- Torture Porn: The second verse of "Back Pack" is absolutely brutal. You can hear Sean's voice cracking as he sings it.
- Troll: The phone number given in the Salad Glove commercial is actually the number for the Westboro Baptist Church.
- The X of Y: "The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving."
And that's a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge... BUMMER!