Stephen Malkmus is a perpetual favorite who resides on my Mount Rushmore of guitarists along with Ira Kaplan, Thurston Moore, & Kurt Vile. Any record he’s on I’m excited about, and his latest with The Jicks, Wig Out at Jagbags, is no exception.
This is the sixth album Malkmus has cut with The Jicks, which means he’s released more albums with them than Pavement, and that blows my mind. Terror Twilight (the last Pavement album) was released 15 long years ago, which raises waaaaaaay too many questions about my own mortality without having a drink near by, so I’m moving on.
I’ve listened to Wig Out at Jagbags three times so far, and the record as a whole is mixed super flat. Each time I’ve dropped the needle on “Planetary Motion” (Track A1) I’ve instinctively reacted by turning my receiver up as all parts are muddled and just lounging in the middle. You get used to the mix as the record wears on, but it’s really lacking the oompth you’d want from a Malkmus album, and comes off as neutered. The songs aren’t bad by any means, with “Lariat” being the initial standout, but nothing really grabs me by the balls and demands my attention like “Hopscotch Willie” did on Real Emotional Trash. Like most of Saint Stephen’s records this is very likely a grower, but on the first few listens it’s not showing me too much, which is why I’m especially excited to hear the album live in February.
- See Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks at the Paradise Rock Club on 02/25/14.
- Buy Wig Out at Jagbags via Matador Records
Recommended If You Like: 90’s Alternative, Madlibs, Dr. Seuss Rock