Jagged Baptist Club release Chop x8

Eight chops? As Mark E Smith might have said 'it's not repetition, it's discipline'

Cover art for Jagged Baptist Club's Chop x8

Kark Whitney's superb book Hit Factories: A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of British Pop argues very convincingly that the town or city that the members of a band were brought up in influences their outlook, sound and lyrics. The joy is that he doesn't dispel the myths which music fans love - in many cases his clarifications amplify them. In his Liverpool chapter, he trudges through a fog-smeared suburb to find John and Paul's childhood homes. As the weather closes in, his rainy reflection on how growing up there must have bled into lyrics on songs such as A Day In The Life is a psychedelic experience in itself.


This expands greatly on tired old tropes such as The Beach Boys were happy in sunny California or Joy Division were miserable in mizzly Manchester. It is the everyday experience and fabric of their surroundings which shapes some bands. For example - was there a great rehearsal space nearby, a studio with a sympathetic owner or engineer, a bar or club who would put on new bands?


Not limited to one city, but definitely to a specific demographic, the 1960s in America saw the development of a genre which came to be subsequently categorised as Garage Rock. So called because the bands associated with the genre were largely from middle class suburbs where the large houses had garages. In which they could practice. With instruments which their parents could afford to buy for them. There were thousands of such bands - a phenomenon peculiar to a the US. A particular favourite of mine from The Starfires is right here:


A key sound for many of these bands was the Farfisa organ which is what brings me finally to our track of the week, the new single Chop x8 from Jagged Baptist Club.


The second release from their forthcoming album Temptation Death House, it's a sub 3 minute adrenaline-fuelled ride where you feel like you're clinging onto the roof of your car rather than driving it. And that's after it has been into the garage and come out chipped for speed and with a souped-up exhaust for extra resonant roar. ​ It's driven along by a Farfisa sounding keyboard part which gives it instant 60s garage rock appeal. It hurtles to its suitably abrupt end - not so much worried about the destination as having a good time getting there. ​ In a sweet, meta twist the song itself was chopped in half. Blake from the band takes up the story: "It started off as a longer, more complicated song that just didn’t quite work. I took a break from it and came back a few months later with a mission: HAVE FUN! ... I cut the song in half, sped it up and went BUCKWILD with the lyrics. Now the song is an upper fuelled explosion with a chorus so catchy you can remember it even after those nights you can’t."


It certainly worked as we are left with a burst of controlled chaos which takes your brain out, puts it through a fast spin cycle and replaces it not quite where it came from.


And so we preach the gospel according to the Jagged Baptist Club - crank the speed, halve the length and head for the garage.


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