“Wig Out at Jagbags” is the first Jicks album since Stephen Malkmus reunited with his old Pavement buddies for a tour, and its emphasis on wit, wordplay and concision could be residual effects of revisiting his classic indie-rock songs from the ’90s.
Though this, the sixth Jicks album, still has some bluesy chord changes, heavy guitar solos, and dissonant freakouts, “Wig Out” is not nearly as jammy as 2008’s “Real Emotional Trash” or 2003’s “Pig Lib.” The band recorded “Wig Out” in Denmark while Malkmus, 47, and his family lived in Berlin. (They have since returned to Portland, Ore.)
The funny “Lariat” and catchy “The Janitor Revealed” possess Pavement’s breezy charm, and the album is dense with great Malkmus quips. With its inside-basketball jokes (including the easy-listening, ironically groovy “J Smoov”), and its jabs at, among other things, hipster nostalgia for the Pavement era and Foxygen, “Wig Out at Jagbags” is Malkmus at his ironic, comic best.
– Steve Klinge, Philadelphia Inquirer