Chicago’s Jar’d Loose pull muck from the gutter, get nasty on ‘Goes to Purgatory’

Have you been out in this heat at all, my fellow Americans? Yikes. Not fun times at all. Going outside has been like breathing inside a boiling pot of soup for the last week, and just going out for the mail has been reason enough alone to take a shower. Maybe three showers. If you didn’t have air conditioning during this thing, my condolences go out to you.

The last week or so has made me feel nasty, gritty, sticky, unkempt. I didn’t want to go around people in public because I just felt like a ball of sweat and misery, not that I was alone in this way of thinking. It was shitty. You just felt scuzzy all over, like you have this film of filth coating you that you couldn’t remove no matter how hard you tried. It just became a part of who you were, and you lived with it.

It’s a little cooler now where I live (though still too warm to take the dog for a walk before sunset) but it’s far more comfortable today. That said, those days of hell bathing instantly came back to me when I was trying to put my thoughts together about the debut effort “Goes to Purgatory” from Jar’d Loose, a Chicago band that’s as filthy and muggy as they come. Their music sounds dirty, like you’d need a nice disinfectant bath when you are done with it, and the songs’ bad attitude and refusal to say anything nice about anything kind of made me feel a little dirty inside. All of that is a compliment, by the way, in case it did not sound like one. Dirty is good.

Jar’d Loose don’t really sound like many other metal bands touring the dark clubs, basements, VFW halls, and other assorted small venues in which these types of groups inhabit. In fact, calling them metal is a little out of focus, though there is some of that here. Comprised of members of assorted Chicago-based bands, most notably The Muzzler, the band notes influences such as Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Dwarves, and Entombed. Got to be totally honest here: I hear zero Entombed in their music. Not an ounce. The other three bands? Totally. Like, by a huge amount. I’ll throw a couple more bands out there: Kylesa, Faster Pussycat. Don’t log off after reading that last name. Maybe it’s just me, but I hear a huge sleaze glam influence, mostly with Eddie Gobbo’s vocals, that makes me think of better-get-an-STD-test hard rock that you can’t help but love if only just for the worry-about-our-decisions-later attitude. We’re not talking about songs about banging hookers, just so we’re clear.

Speaking of Gobbo, there’s a chance his vocals will annoy you if you’re not ready for them. They’re sneery and snotty, and they’d sound great in front of a gutter punk band. Well, I guess you could argue Jar’d Loose do that too. There also are elements of grunge and psychedelic wailing to what this band does, and their stuff may take a little adjustment. Nothing wrong with that. Something this unsanitary always is going to need time to fester. By the way, the other culprits crushing your hearing and resolve on this album are drummer Phil Hardman, guitarist Pete Adam Bialecki, and bassist Eva Bialecki. They’re formidable.

“Purgatory” kicks off with “Last Living Roach,” a crunchy, raspy rocker that appears to speak of the world’s most indestructible creature. Gross? Yeah. But you kind of have to respect them. “Rotten Tooth” has a raucous chorus that’ll stick in your head for days. It’s a smoldering, pissy song that has hooks that’ll infect. “Appendage” has a punchy start-stop riff built into it, while Gobbo shout-sings his diatribes. Side note: Gobbo is wearing an ECW shirt in the band’s promo. I wonder how he feels about the late-00s “resurrection” of said wrestling organization. I wonder if he thinks it was as shitty as I thought it was. Moving on …

“Busted” is a lot of fun and, in a way, it’s the angriest, heaviest song on this thing. I say “in a way” because I don’t really mean because of volume or speed. It just hits harder than the rest, with Gobbo shouting, “She’s never going to be the one you want/You’ll collect dust from all the shit she’s got built up.” No wondering or deep pontificating over what that means. “Hell’s Mother” has a lot of that filthy glam feel I mentioned earlier, and that takes you into pounder “Right Eyes,” where Gobbo insists, “No shame needs no forgiveness.” It gets kind of gross, too. “Go Down With You” is trippy and muddy; while closer “Coming Like a Nightmare” packs a conclusive fury and sounds ready to rip your face off, but listen closely. There’s a nice little melody buried underneath it all. How soothing.

Jar’d Loose probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Or broken glass of bottom-shelf spirits. But it’s nice to get dirty once in a while, take a roll in the sludge, and not shower for three days. It’s how we’re bound to feel as this summer continues to heat up, but Jar’d Loose are way more fun than 103 degrees and no AC. In fact, my guess is they thrive in those conditions, like those godforsaken cockroaches.

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