Aaaaaaaaaaaaand we're back.
For the past three weeks, it's become increasingly clear to me that Jawbreaker needs to do a reunion tour.
Do you remember when everyone criticized Michael Jordan for coming back to the NBA because they wanted to remember him at the top of his game, the way he was? And then he came back and won three more championships? He went out on top of his game, before he really needed to, just so he could maintain some sort of respect in the eyes of his fans -- and, lucky for Bulls fans, he realized there was no reason to consider himself done before it was too late.
Jawbreaker's Dear You (1995) was a classic release from a band that helped define the course of much of modern emo and punk rock, a band that also decided to vacate the scene before their time.
What was Jawbreaker's problem? No one really understood how great they were when they reached their pinnacle. True fans scoffed at the band for playing shows with Nirvana, while Nirvana fans just didn't get it the way the real fans did. To a lot of people, they were just another punk band. In some instances they were -- until the release of Dear You (polished and neatly packaged by Geffen Records). And voila! It turned out they were one of those bands that sounds better polished than they do raw. But still, no one really gave a shit.
Then, suddenly, a few years afterward, everyone gave a shit. A wave of bands began citing Jawbreaker as an influence, including Alkaline Trio, Saves the Day, Brand New, Set Your Goals, Fall Out Boy -- hell, even Face to Face covered a song on 2003's tribute album Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault.
I wouldn't be able to pick a favorite from Dear You if I tried. I could certainly narrow it down; 'Jet Black's narrative death sequence is morbidly enchanting, while 'Fireman's lovelorn stream of consciousness is equally as charming (even if the video, posted above, is admittedly not). But then again, I could listen to 'I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both' eight times in a row.
As for a reunion -- the band is currently in the process of filming and editing (what appears to be) a documentary about themselves. I guess true art really doesn't breed true humility. But, more importantly, the guys got together and played music again.
The question remains: is it too late for Jawbreaker to reunite? Well, it sure as hell couldn't hurt to try.
So color me obvious / I just want to be happy half the time / And blue only when I have the time."
- Blake Schwarzenbach