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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Review: The Bitter Tears - Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse

The Bitter Tears – Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse
2009, Carrot Top Records

Chicago’s The Bitter Tears are coming for your children. They shall berate the little tykes with oboes, cellos, violins and a dusty, meaty form of Americana that was almost forgotten. Known for a wild and sometimes vulgar like stage show, The Bitter Tears made an honest attempt to capture their live Mojo on their upcoming release, Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse. They have succeeded in capturing that raw energy and some wonderfully abstract musical combinations in song. Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse goes on sale on March 3, 2009.

Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse opens with the energy-filled rustic Americana of Slay The Heart Of The Earth. If Bob Dylan wrote songs for the Beatles it might have sounded a little bit like this. The Bachelor’s Say has a bit of Brit-Pop feel in an acoustic arrangement. This backward combination of Brit-Pop melodicism and American hobo-folk pervades Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse. The ethereal harmonies and stilted rhythm of the opening of Starling resolves into a blues-tinged Americana song that hides tremendous discord and dissonance at its heart. The Bitter Tears are, in turn, as musically disjointed as The Rheostatics at their art-rock best, often opting for musical choices that aren’t entirely disturbing but just off-kilter enough to fill you with a sense of unease. The most bizarre track of the album is The Companion, which brought back memories of The Police’s Mother. The highlight of the disc follows; the wonderful folk/pop number called The Love Letter. This is a great tune that could travel from genre to genre without losing its essential flavor. Even the effect of the back-alley orchestration seems to enhance the charm of this song. Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse closes with Worthless Sleaze, a not entirely chaotic composition of competing sounds and enabling musical passages. This is art rock, pure and simple; Harmonious enough to catch you, dissonant to almost lose you, and endearing enough that you’ll come back to hear it again. The Bitter Tears will disturb your senses, and you’ll like it.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Bitter Tears at or You can purchase a copy of Jam Jarts In The Jakehouse at

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