When pioneering American slackers Pavement took what was supposed to be a break at the turn of the 21st century, Malkmus – the band’s main man and principal songwriter – filled the gap by forming his own band, and thus the Jicks were born.
Five albums in, there is still no new Pavement record and Malkmus’ side project has never reached the level of ubiquity enjoyed by his first outfit and, for all its delights, Wig-out at Jagbags (what a title!) seems unlikely to change that state of affairs.
Where Pavement set trends – Blur were one of many bands to cite them as a major influence – The Jicks, on this evidence at least, seem content to make a straightforward rock record.
That’s no bad thing. There’s some great pop music here – J Smoov is beautifully tender and Rumble at the Rainbo will delight fans of Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub and the Lemonheads – while the thoughtful musings of Independence Street are possibly the best thing on the record.
Malkmus doesn’t stick to one particular style throughout and although it could be seen as being a little unfocused, it does make for a rewarding listen.
Like this? Try these: Dinosaur Jr: Green Mind; Teenage Fanclub: Grand Prix; Lemonheads: Come on Feel the Lemonheads