DRIVE LIKE JEHU: Yank Crime: CD

This album was originally released on Interscope Records in 1994. It was the follow up to their amazing, self-titled first album. Since it was still ’94 and I wasn’t quite as savvy as I am now, I’d still pick up albums on major labels. I bought a copy and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I fucking loved Yank Crime. I spent so much time getting high and listening to it back in those days that, when I put this reissue of the album on now, I catch a contact buzz. So, yeah, I’m excited that this album was re-released. It’s one of those albums that inspired so many crappy bands that you almost have to own it just so that it can stick up for itself. But more than that, Drive Like Jehu was a groundbreaking band, a band that was able to take some of the best elements of Sonic Youth and Fugazi and Rocket From The Crypt (John Reis from RFTC was also in Drive Like Jehu) and fuse them into wild, divergent, powerful songs. At times, Drive Like Jehu were a bit self-indulgent. You do have to sit through thirty seconds of feedback just to get to the song “Super Unison,” and they’re not afraid to repeat certain riffs so many times that you go through stages of liking it, getting sick of it, hating it, and liking it again, all in the context of one song. And, on this re-release, they’ve included the original version of “Sinews,” something that was probably best left wallowing in obscurity. But Drive Like Jehu’s originality more than makes up for their periods of self-indulgence. This re-issue also includes two tracks that weren’t included the first time this album was released: “Bullet Train to Vegas” and “Hand over Fist”. Those two songs may be the best thing I’ve heard from Drive Like Jehu.

 –sean (Swami)