211: JACK OFF JILL

Coming up in the early 90s with a (mostly) all-female lineup and confronting sound and performance, it’s not hard to see how Jack Off Jill got bundled in with the riot grrrl scene. The reality, however, is Jack Off Jill stand alone as one of the best alt rock bands of the period.

With a fuzzy, almost shoegaze vibe setting them aside from the boilerplate alt rock sound at the time, Jack Off Jill were truly something unique. There were goth influences, punk influences, and then there was Jessicka.

Jessicka Addams is possible one of my favourite front-women of all time. With her gentle, sweet, vocal style, she tied the JOJ sound together. It created an unsettling and fascinating atmosphere, like a child lost among the chaos, but then she would take dramatic control, her voice becoming a riotous roar – remind us that Jack Off Jill are not here to fuck around.

Jack Off Jill split up in 2000, breaking my heart in the tail end of my formative years. The would reunite temporarily in 2015 for a small run of shows. Shows that I considered dropping an obnoxious amount of money on getting to (25+ hours on flights and a 5-6 thousand dollars…). I ended up telling myself that was madness. They’d probably come to Australia, right?

Right?

Wrong. This small run of shows ended on Jessicka’s 40th birthday, and thus ended Jack Off Jill. They’d come back one last time, for the fans, and give (and get) the loving goodbye they deserved 15 years earlier. But I missed out.

The lesson here? Book the flight. See the band.

It’s always worth it.