Sweat Juice, the third album by the Australian, hard drinking, humorous and self confessed “party dorks” The Jaffas was hailed as an instant classic when it was released in November of ‘03, and me and my high school mates at the time couldn’t have agreed more, often playing the album on loop as we drank in my mate Youngy’s garage.
But the age old question- does it hold up? Well I dusted off my copy of the CD, that was looking a little worse for wear but was somehow still in tact, to find out.
Short answer: Fuck yeah! Even shorter answer: Yeah!
The album definitely has nostalgia going for it. It’s almost like a little time capsule of Melbourne’s fun laid back alt scene at the time and while re-listening, I was taken back to memories of mates’ parties and drunk Summers, so to be fair, I’m definitely biased in this review. But as The Jaffas would say- “who gives a flying fuck?”
Here’s a track by track analysis of the album that not only put The Jaffas on the map, but made them stand out like a goddamn capital city:
Nothin’ Goin’ On
Bam, what a way to start an album. This guitar heavy, head banging yet relatively non alienating anthem to not doing anything, although never becoming a single, in my opinion perfectly sums up what the band is about, in terms of both sound and content, and is a super solid opening track.
We’ve all got that mate and The Jaffas know it. The band’s trademark humour shines in this catchy track that’s apparently based on former drummer for the band, Greg “Loose” Harrington.
Me and my dates predicted this high energy flurry of fantastic noise was gonna be a hit as soon as it exploded onto the community radio charts and holy moly we were spot on. Coming in at Number 8 on the Sickest 100 that Summer, it’s the perfect track to listen to as you crack open that first tinnie and get ready for a big night with the boys (as the hilarious music video demonstrates)
The Boy Is Fucked (When He Is Single)
Some argue lead singer Franz “The Captain” Everett doesn’t quite have the vocal range to pull of this amazingly epic song about that dodgy mate, but I reckon that’s part of what makes it so unique. Shout out as well to the absolutely enjoyable repeating chorus, which goes off at live shows
Minute to Chill
This quirky short yet busy track (which is actually seventy-nine seconds) is just pure fun energy and is guaranteed to wake you up. Who needs coffee when you have The Jaffas?
Pint at Danny’s
A fantastic ode to getting pissed with genius lyrics, it’s crazy to believe that it was apparently written in the space of half an hour while the boys played a game of pool at Danny’s Tavern in South Melbourne (now sadly a pet shop).
Just a goddamn great track.
My only complaint about this track is they only sing the top notch chorus twice. “Talkin bout a Day off, day off, it’ll be so fine, talkin bout a day off, day off, gonna make you mine” might seem lyrically simplistic but The Jaffas make it work, and then some.
I often feel like taking a day off work just so I can blast this track and belt it out in the living room just like the good ol days
It’s a party, muthafuckers
After a couple slower paced songs, this insanely full on masterpiece is like a kick to the face, but in a great way. It’s a party, muthafuckers is a highlight of the album, and usually regarded as one of the band’s greatest tunes, especially when played live. I’ve been lucky enough to see the boys a few times and lemme tell you, it’s definitely a party when this gem gets played.
While arguably the least memorable song on the album, this guitar heavy track has some fuckin a’ lyrics, eg “smokos on the couch, love that shit, pass me that pouch, where should I sit” and “backyard bongs and kitchen karaoke, can do no fuckin wrong, yeah ya can’t beat low key”
Feel alright tonight
In my experience it’s rare for an album, no matter how good, and especially one from the 2000s for whatever reason, to not just fizzle out, and the closing track is usually a little forgettable. Well the opposite can be said about Feel Alright Tonight.
Not only the band’s biggest hit at the time, co founder of the band and lead guitarist Benny “Maggot” Jason cites it as his favourite. While I know it’s not for everyone (I have great memories of my buddy Youngy getting pissed off at the constant high pitched Woo Hoo chorus) it’s hard not to bust a move to this banger.
I feel like this feel great track is the kinda killa drinking anthem that makes The Jaffas a fantastic band, and makes Sweat Juice the type of album you wanna play again and again, whether it be at a mates 16th party in a garage, or fifteen years later in a sharehouse living room like I am right now.
Jaff on, boys!