Jurado wastes no time knocking the dust out of the speakers with the lead-off "Paperwings," a buzz-swept roots rocker the likes of which Son Volt's Jay Farrar has been trying to rewrite since Trace. The aggressive "Paperwings" -- with its intentional broken notes and (it's safe to assume) unintentional broken strings -- is the kind of song that demands repeated listening. That is followed up by the heavily distorted, equally stomping "Dancing."
But Jurado is driven -- not simply overdriven. Produced by tour mate David "Pedro The Lion" Bazan, I Break Chairs pours the singer's haunting howl into several melodic molds. The album bubbles with the Teenage Fanclub-like power-pop of "Big Deal" and "The Way You Look," chimes through the almost atonal reverberations of "Castles," and rolls along to the good-timey Springsteen-meets-Ric-Ocasek rebelliousness of "Like Titanic." Everything may not always sit well emotionally with Jurado. But on I Break Chairs, he's sitting pretty.
Damien Jurado plays the Echo Lounge Sat., May 11.