When I was first headed down the rabbit hole of independent punk and hc music in the mid 90’s, J Church was a band whose name popped up everywhere. Classified ads in MRR and Slug and Lettuce. Glowing reviews in Fucktooth. Every other compilation I came across. I remember reading a review of something they did, and they mentioned Jawbreaker having shared members. Jawbreaker being another band who seemed to kind of transcend genres and sound like whatever the fans needed/wanted them to sound like. Both bands went on my “should check out someday” mental want list.
Not knowing where to start with either band, I just moved on. Put “those two ‘j’ bands” on the back burner for a decade or two. It’s now 2014 and Lance died so I’ve got no chance of seeing them/him live ever, and I’ve finally made the leap. Fucking hell.
But this record is more than just a J Church record and much more than just a Lance Hahn record. I just fell the need to get that out there up front since I don’t think I’ve mentioned my history and deliberate willful ignorance until now. Also, upon looking into who these bands were, and their shared, incestuous membership, it becomes clear that Lance was more than just a Bay area musician. He was at the center of a swirling vortex music, art, community, all of it.
Jolt was a highly underrated Bay area punk band who put out a few great great records, then disbanded. I think most of the credit they got for being amazing came after they broke up. For shame. Their discography (handful of singles and some comp tracks) is worth tracking down. What I have of theirs is in my “long term queue” to post here. For those keeping score, so far as I can tell, there’s no direct connection between Jolt and Lance.
Good Grief shard members with Cringer and Buttafuoco, who were on Farmhouse Records, and shared another, non-Good Grief member with…drum roll please…J Church. I know, it’s not all THAT shocking to find a bay area band from the late 80’s or early 90’s with members who played with Lance at some point or another. And I said this wouldn’t be a J Church post.
If you had told me Jabberjaw and Monsula (three guesses as to which prolific bay area guitarist/songwriter spent time in Monsula…) shared a member or two, I’d have believed you without question. I guess a couple of their members went on to be in Indian Summer and a few other bands I’m only familiar with by name. There’s another 7″ by these guys posted (with a couple more links to other Jabberjaw related things as well as a recently updated DL link, even) on the always amazing Willfully Obscure.
I learned more about this record, the band Jabberjaw, and the Homemade Records label from the amazing emo90’s blog, which seems a little stagnant but also has active links.