Blake I. Collier | The Dirty Deacon

Contributor for Mockingbird | Co-creator of Son of Byford | Contributor for Christ & Pop Culture


2012: The End of the World…Week 23

Jay Munly - Blurry

I was not expecting this album.  I just wasn’t.  And as I went through the week listening to it, I still was not expecting this album.  It is a very strange debut record for an artist who I know changes styles later on and did work with Slim Cessna’s Auto Club.  As the week went on, I was just trying to figure out what this album reminded me of.  It came to me about halfway through the week, this sounds like a solo album from a member of the Pixies who couldn’t quite get away from the band’s sound, but was able to incorporate enough differences to call it a solo album.  And this is coming from a guy who was never in the Pixies and musically, throughout his career, shares little in common with the Pixies.  I just found myself singing “This monkey’s gone to heaven…” to some of the music on this album.  It feels like Jay Munly was stuck in the aftermath of the death of punk and either decided to do an homage album (and not a good one at that!) or was just overcome by those punk influences that that is how the sound of this album came out.  And I don’t know where to start on the lyrical content.  So I won’t.

I really like four songs on this album and the rest are give-or-take at best.  “Virgin of Manhattan,” “Hangs on with Eskimos,” “Once Again,” and “No Dead Fuel” are the standouts on this one.  However, there is no real telling whether these are the actual titles of the songs because as the week went on I started to realize that the lyrics on one song matched the title of another song.  At first I thought that Amazon had messed up the titling of the tracks.  So I went to three or four sites and looked at the titles with the track lengths.  They were in the exact order I had them.  So I then went around searching for the reason why this was the case.  And guess what I found?  Little to nothing.  A conspiracy.  This may keep me up at night.  But, then again, I couldn’t really care less on this album. 

I wouldn’t get this album. Period.

Apocalyptic Rating: -2 out of 10 (Maybe if it had been a legitimate punk album, it might have made it into the positives, but nothing here was anywhere close to dark.)

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Virgin of Manhattan by Jay Munly

Simple staccato-ed guitar riffs with punctuated drum beats.  Considering this is the first song that appears on the album, its a little disorienting because of the basic content of the song and for the rather un-gothic americana sound that it pursues, but, in the end, it still catches the ear and makes one of the more memorable songs on the album.

Once Again by Jay Munly

With the strange punk sensibilities of the mid-nineties (after punk was already dead and rolling in its grave at the advent of grunge), Jay Munly gives us this sparsely instrumental song.  It catches the listener off guard because the melody is actually quite infectious and beautiful.  Like most of the songs on this album, however, the lyrics are anything but coherent.  I am also starting to devise a conspiracy around this album that I will reveal in my album review at the end of the week.

Hang On With Eskimos by Jay Munly

I have know idea how to approach this album let alone this song.  Admittedly the first few listens of this album did not amount to much in my opinion.  Parts of it have grown on me since, but it is very likely going to be towards the bottom of my list for the year.  This song is catchy enough to get a spot on my blog and it is strange enough to fit in with the gothic americana crew, but there is little here, otherwise, that would accord with that genre.