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San Francisco, California, United States (1988 – 1996)

Jawbreaker was an American band from San Francisco, California, United States. The band has its root in Los Angeles, CA, where Blake Schwarzenbach and Adam Pfahler were students at the exclusive private Crossroads High School. The band came together when they met Chris Bauermeister at New York University in 1988.

With Schwarzenbach on guitar and vocals, Bauermeister on bass, and Pfahler on drums, the band gained recognition in the late eighties and early nineties for their melodic yet driven sound built on the foundation for Schwarzenbach’s poignant, bleeding-heart lyrics and signature rasp.

The band’s first full-length release Unfun was put out by Shredder in 1990. On this, the band stuck close to the sound coming out of their contemporaries in the nascent scene in their sound, with the exception of Bauermeister’s prominent bass lines and Schwarzenbach’s lyrics, at times walking the line of the melodramatic.

Unfun was followed by Bivouac on Tupelo/Communion in 1992. Bivouac proved thicker and darker - both thematically and melodically - yet served to elevate the band above a crowd of previously similar acts. This more ambitious release also artfully used pieces of found-audio, in what was becoming one of the band’s signatures, weaving it in and out of the ten minute title track, “Bivouac.”

Their third release, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, produced by the ubiquitous Steve Albini, unveiled a sparse pop-punk with more carefully crafted lyrics. This album also holds what has become arguably their best known song, “Boxcar.”


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