Given that forgetters is made up of former members of both Jawbreaker and Against Me!, it would be easy to think that this album would be the essential punk album of not just 2012, but the entire century (thus far).
Sometimes our expectations aren’t always met.
That’s not to say that forgetters, the second self titled release from the Brooklyn trio (following a self-titled EP released in 2010) is an awful album, because it’s not. Actually, it’s pretty good: it’s mellow, it’s noisy, it’s heavy, and it’s sweet. Think more like a continuation of Jets to Brazil, minus the piano (mostly). With production and bass duties handled by J. Robbins (of Jawbox fame, although he also produced albums by Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil, and Against Me!), the album almost plays like a late-90’s Jade Tree disc. Blake Schwarzenbach’s vocals bounce back and forth between his familiar rasp and a newer, deeper singing style. The album begins with the newer style, and honestly I was kind of worried at first because of how unfamiliar it was, but by the time track two, “Lie Artist” kicks in, everything seems more at home.
If I’ve got any complaints about forgetters, it’s that the album runs on for a little too long. At least half the songs on the album find their way into 5+ minute territory, and while some of those songs are the best on the album (“I’m Not Immune” and “Die By Your Own Hand” in particular), as a whole the album is a lot to take in at once. I had the same problem with Jets to Brazil’s albums though, so that one might just be me.
forgetters may be far from being the punk album everyone was secretly hoping that it was going to be, but before you go around telling everyone, take some time and give it a listen. Even if only listened to in three or four song increments, the album holds together well. Highly recommended for anyone who prefers latter-day Jawbreaker (or Jets to Brazil), and anything in the post-1990 Dischord catalog.