Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags


I can’t deny that with every one of his six albums (five with the Jicks) I always hope that Stephen Malkmus secretly recorded with the members of his old band. That idea makes more sense than ever with Wig Out at Jagbags the first LP he wrote after Pavement’s short-lived reunion.

Of course Wig Out is not Pavement. And yet after 13 years it might be the first album to convince me that it’s time to consider SM as more than “that smarmy genius from Pavement.”

The truth is he’s one of the only lyricists that can hold my attention. His free-association approach is in peak form here dropping a shrewd rhyme like “Suckin’ on a Cert that ain’t no dessert” in “Independence Day” as well as the roundabout chorus of “You’re not what you aren’t you aren’t what you’re not” from “Lariat” his jauntiest single since “Jo Jo’s Jacket.”

The Jicks’ looseness though is perhaps Wig Out ’s most surprising quality riffing like BTO on “Houston Hades” punking out on “Rumble at the Rainbo” and going grunge for “Shibboleth.”

Normally I’d hate such irreverent variety but Malkmus has me hooked and hopefully finally I can kick this hang-up and wig out more often.