Folk punk band AJJ dropped their seventh album, “Good Luck Everybody” on Jan. 17. Even though it has been four years since their last album release, “The Bible 2”, their unique style and powerful lyricism has only grown and improved.
The album focuses primarily on the band’s strong opinions on America’s political climate after the 2016 election. AJJ is known for writing songs about the plagues of the human condition and society, and they haven’t shied away from political subjects before. This album is particularly political, talking about hot topic issues like race, immigration and misogyny without necessarily mentioning President Donald J. Trump specifically. It’s one of their most important albums yet lyrically, and it couldn’t be more fitting for them to release it in the beginning of an election year. Not all of the songs on the album are political; such tracks include ones like “Maggie,” a song written from the perspective of a dog, or “Your Voice, as I Remember It,” which is about missing the voice of a lost loved one.
The lyrics may be the definition of punk, but musically, “Good Luck Everybody” isn’t as punk-based as AJJ usually is. Most of the songs are softer than their past albums, and they often include bluegrass-y folk tones. The simplicity of the instrumentals emphasize the masterful lyricism in this album.
One of the best songs on the album is “Psychic Warfare.” The song starts with an orchestral group of strings and doesn’t have much more instrumentally, but the lyrics really demonstrate how good of a songwriter Sean Bonnette, AJJ’s leadman, is. The song premiered on their EP with Audiotree, but it was refined in this album. It’s catchy and it directly addresses the band’s issues with President Trump in a way that is simultaneously funny and anger-inducing.
Despite being in folk-punk genre, AJJ isn’t afraid of putting a ballad on their album. The one in question is “No Justice, No Peace, No Hope,” and it’s my personal favorite on “Good Luck Everybody.” The lyrics in this song hit the hardest out of all the tracks, starting with heavy lyrics and only getting more introspective and intense as it goes on. It sounds nihilistic because of the song title and lyrics, but it really shines a light on the horror of America’s current climate and it makes the next song, “Mega Guillotine 2020” hit even harder.
“Mega Guillotine 2020” is a song on the album that is a great listen for anyone of voting age and eligibility. It dictates the importance of voting and how people have the power to change what seems like hopelessness and despair in the country by voting for those who are willing to change it. It’s one of the shortest songs with some of the fewest lyrics, but the few lyrics pack a punch. It also has a comically impactful music video that adds layers to an already important song.
All in all, despite the heavy hitting topics and niche genre, “Good Luck Everybody” is a great listen. The songs are beautifully written both lyrically and musically and even if you don’t agree with the band’s political opinion, it’s still worth checking out. I can already tell it’s going to be one of my favorite albums of 2020, and it’s only January.