Whether Jawbreaker is a “you had to be there” group that inspires massive nostalgia from fans of earnest pop-punk and post-emo or one of the great unheralded rock bands of the 1990s really depends on your perspective. I’ll happily side with the latter viewpoint. The group’s discography, spread over a variety of labels and tangled in red tape, has been gradually reconstituted by drummer Adam Pfahler’s Blackball label, starting with 2004’s Etc., an essential collection of unreleased and non-album material and continuing with an expanded reissue of Dear You, their long out of print major label swan song.
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their debut, Blackball will issue a newly remastered and expanded version of Unfun on March 30. The record has a rougher and more generic punk quality than their later albums, but is easily identifiable as Jawbreaker. Digital and CD formats contain the entirety of the Whack & Blite EP, and the vinyl is widely available for the first time in 18 years, so cancel those eBay auctions. Now that the beginning and the end of the Jawbreaker story has been told, one can only hope that mid-career fan favorites 24 Hour Revenge Therapy and Bivouac are planned for the near future. However, I’m looking forward to blasting “Wait” on delicious wax very shortly.