“A poem is a song that no one cares about,” declares AJJ frontman Sean Bonnette boldly on their new single, “A Poem.” The song is part of an announcement that the band’s next studio album, Good Luck Everybody, will be released in January 2020. The opening track is just over a minute long, but it’s just enough to give fans a taste of what direction the LP is heading. The song exemplifies Bonnette’s talent for cleverly absurd lyrics, as he goes on to describe songwriters – such as himself – as “awful, ugly people” and “self-important assholes” who are hungry for money and attention. These unabashed claims contrast with the mellow acoustic guitar which he sings over during the first verse. The refrain is filled with more energy, as the full band kicks in along with a lively, sardonic chorus.
Humorous social critiques with folk-inspired instrumentals are at the core of AJJ’s work, but the polished sound of “A Poem” is relatively new to the band. Their last studio album, The Bible 2, largely strayed from the band’s folk-punk roots and included more advanced instrumental arrangements paired with mature, introspective themes.
Based on “A Poem,” the new album will likely have the musical sophistication of The Bible 2, but with lyrics focused on the cultural issues we currently face. In the album announcement, Bonnette describes the album as “reflective of our times.” AJJ is no stranger to political commentary, with past songs like “American Tune” and “Joe Arpaio Is a Punk” discussing gender and racial injustices in a tongue-in-cheek way. Considering the ominous album title, the song on the tracklist titled “Mega Guillotine 2020,” and the giant tidal wave on the cover artwork echoing climate change warnings, fans can expect Good Luck Everybody to dissect modern social issues in the witty style that only AJJ can pull off.
Article By: Hayley Slusser