Alternative Press (p.128) - "[T]his self-titled swan song found the Washington D.C. math-rock band branching out as songwriters while maintaining the angular fury for which they were loved and respected."
Alternative Press (8/96, pp.77-78) - 4 (out of 5) - "...They've peaked here, synthesizing the disparate elements that make them kings and queen of all things post-punk: pop/hardcore, harmony/dissonance, joy/angst. The resulting thunderclap is the band's most unified moment since 1991's GRIPPE..."
RIP (10/96, p.70) - 4 (out of 5) - "...[JAWBOX] is a masterful piece of work--it's passionately vital and brainy at the same time....It's an aural adventure with staying power, and one of the most satisfying albums of '96."
NME (Magazine) (6/29/96, p.52) - 7 (out of 10) - "...Where once there was much shouting and earnest gnashing of teeth...now there is harmony, there is play in an enclosed space....as Jawbox take to their newly found noise pop heels, this can confidently be said to be a most groovy sound indeed."
Pitchfork (Website) - "'His Only Trade' churns as thrillingly as 'Jackpot Plus!' from SWEETHEART, with Robbins' fiery vocal performance matching the urgent lyrics..."
JAWBOX contains a hidden track, "Cornflake Girl."
Jawbox: J. Robbins (vocals, guitar, Hammond organ, percussion); W.C. Barbot (guitar, vocals, saxophone, Hammond organ); Kim Coletta (bass, vocals); Zachary Barocas (drums).
Recorded at Water Music, Hoboken, New Jersey.
Personnel: J. Robbins (vocals, guitar, percussion); Kim Coletta (vocals, guitar); Zach Barocas (brass, drums).
Audio Mixer: John Agnello.
Recording information: Water Music, Hoboken, NJ.
Photographer: J. Robbins.
On their self-titled fourth album from 1996, their second on Atlantic, Jawbox amp up the melody, without losing the indie-rock delirium and chaos and off-kilter time signatures that made the DC four-piece one of Dischord's most popular bands. While a few of the tracks, like the stoic ballad "Iodine" and the absorbing, cyclical "Excandescent," flirt with pop radio catchiness, between the intricate songcraft, J. Robbins and Bill Barbot's nearly preternatural vocal and guitar interplay, Kim Coletta's insistent bass work, and Zach Barocas's frenetically spectacular percussion, Jawbox remain astoundingly immune to any sellout tag. JAWBOX is simply a superior swan song (as it would prove their final studio record) by a complex band who upped the ante on every album. And watch out for the bonus track, "Cornflake Girl," hidden five minutes into final track, a jagged reimagining of Tori Amos's hit.