Album Review: JonBob - "The Best 24 Minutes Of Your Life" EP

Review by Ira Henderson

“The Best 24 Minutes Of Your Life”, is a four-track experimental dance EP by JonBob (Jonathan Bobryk, co-founder of Laser Squid Music in Halifax), released in 2009. It is well-produced, and technically very tight. Refreshingly, it mostly avoids the monotonous boom-chic of a lot of mainstream dance. The music is based mostly around heavy effects and filters that combine with a twitchy drum track to create varied beats and rhythms. On top of that are different sound-bites and samples, from Willy Wonka, the TV news, anti-drug P.S.A.s and such, remixed and dubbed and chopped up and repeated. It reminds me of the techno that I associate with the rave scene of the turn of the millennium. Think a scratched CD of Daft Punk and Lo Fidelity All Stars played on fast-forward, and with a fairly consistent beat. This stuff is fast and dense, though to call it complex might be a bit of a stretch. It’s not exactly intricately layered. There’s just a lot going on, and quickly.

The frenetic pace of this EP could make it a challenge for some people, like the tipsier Dome-dwellers or the hazier Palace-peeps, to dance to it. That’s where the classifier “Experimental” comes into play. JonBob is playing around, trying lots of new things, some of which work and some of which don’t. People who go out looking for experimental music are understanding and forgiving about this; they’re looking for novelty. There are a lot of interesting things going on in these four tracks but, as they are, none of them are going to attract a mainstream audience. The stuff is fun and quirky, but the pace is so frantic that by the time you’re into a nice groove the music shifts into something else. That’s why, for all of the fast-paced, interesting and fun stuff in there, it ends up boring.


 Although the music is fairly… well… experimental, most of the words, when there are words, are cliché and/or juvenile. The track “Legalize” is a pretty harmless, straight-forward pro-pot potpourri of sound bites of ridiculous anti-marijuana propaganda. But it is “Ima Fuckin Unicorn Remix” that irritates the hell out of me. It’s the lyrics. The thing starts with a moaning woman and an auto-tuned voice saying “I’m a fucking unicorn” over and over, then it gets worse. This is the only track that incorporates rapping, and it’s the worst rapping I’ve ever heard. It’s all about a misogynistic unicorn/man who fucks and insults women. Maybe it’s supposed to be so ridiculous that it’s funny. Maybe that concept could work in more capable hands. This rapper can’t handle it. He sounds like a fourteen-year-old suburban virgin overcompensating for the fact that he has only ever seen a naked woman on the internet. If the shitty words weren’t enough, the guy can’t even ride a beat. He keeps cramming too many words into his lines, tripping over his own tongue and messing up the rhythm. That being said, the music is pretty good. But I just can’t get over the shitty lyrics.

This music is not for sitting down and listening to intently (as I must admit I have been doing). It’s dance. It’s meant to wash over you, creep into your throbbing naughty-bits and make you move. That’s why I think drugs and alcohol would help. Or maybe just an adrenaline-high from hours of manic dancing. This is background music, party music, good for enhancing pre-existing excitement without getting in the way. Not so much recommended for a quiet evening in. But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself at http://sociopath-recordings-releases.blogspot.com/2009/10/srmp3-152-jonbob-best-24-minutes-of.html

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