It’s called the Thorns Of Life. They’re referencing Shelley. And it’s not just Blake: The ex-Jawbreaker/Jets To Brazil frontman has come out of retirement (though I’m guessing he’s still teaching classes at CUNY) and is joined by Aaron Cometbus (!) on drums and Daniela Sea from The L Word on bass. I’ve never watched The L Word so I can’t vouch for Sea, but Schwarzenbach’s one of my favorite lyricists ever and Jawbreaker remains one of my favorite bands, a band I still listen to regularly (yes, even Dear You).

Additionally, in my opinion, there was no better zine than Cometbus. DIY Kerouac. (Plus, Aaron also played drums in Crimpshrine, Pinhead Gunpowder, etc.). When I was a youngster that zine inspired me madly as did Jawbreaker, so this is momentous. (I bet Craig Finn, who’s mentioned the influence Schwarzenbach’s had on him, is just as excited). Thorns Of Life played a show in Brooklyn last week, which is where that photo comes from. There’s more info here. They should be playing more shows soon in their Brooklyn hometown. Now please go listen to “Chesterfield King” and cry joyful tears into your beers.

[Photo via Brooklyn DIY]

Comments (24)
  1. Andrea  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2008 0

    wonderful news! thanks, stereogum!

  2. best news i’ve heard in a long time. thanks brandon

  3. Michael_  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2008 0

    I’m glad you guys posted this. This is great news and I too am very much looking forward to hearing new things from Blake.

    Any love now for the Get Up Kids reunion?

  4. jljames  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

    As well as Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity tour. Don’t pretend you’re above it!!

    • Michael_  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

      Tell me about it. With this new Shwarzenbach project, the GUK reunion and the Clarity tour, the real emo-indie genre is having a great week.

  5. the lulz  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

    this has totally been on the internet for like 2 days
    so behind the times, stereobummm

  6. Ryan  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

    Well, I didn’t know about it (sorry, the internet isn’t much of a priority on the weekends…) and I’d have to say this news might have just made my year!

    Any reports on what it even SOUNDS like? It looks loud from the picture, but I’ve been wrong before.

  7. BrooklynDodger  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

    Saw these guys at an apartment party in BKLN last night. Fucking amazing. Aaron’s drumming makes the overall effect more Jawbreaker/Crimpshrine than Jets to Brazil. Old school melodic, uptempo punk.

    Pretty fucking awesome really. Can’t wait for a release.

    • Here’s a review of last night via Alternative Press:

      I found out about it last minute, but couldn’t make it. Ugh. The friend I was planning to go with texted me during Vivian Girls’ set. Did the Thorns Of Life play first?

      • BrooklynDodger  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

        Yeah, they played first. That review was pretty spot-on. Tight, punchy 3-chord punk. Definitely doesn’t blaze new trails, but pretty fantastic nonetheless.

  8. Thorns of Life are quite good. Jawbreaker, influential and phenom. Schwarzenbach, one of the best of the 3-chord punk masters. Mad respect. I take nothing away from them with this comment.


    …how does Thorns of Life get a big splash in a world where Smoking Popes first new album in 10 years, which came out earlier this year, has been totally overlooked? I’m just asking. I’ll bet good money your a chunk of your readers have no idea Smoking Popes even put out a new album or, if they did know, haven’t heard it. Anyone?

    • Dave  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

      I bought the Smoking Popes record but I’m in Chicago, they may be a little more on the radar here.

      I am really excited about this new Blake project! Hope they tour.

    • Michael_  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2008 0

      I’m so with you on this — The Smoking Popes’ new album being overlooked is definitely one of the biggest blunders of the year. It’s on par with their best work and is definitely on my top 20 or so list of favorite albums from ’08. I saw them this past summer in Allston, MA and was kind of disappointed how only 30 people or so showed up (Granted it was Fourth of July weekend, and the city of Boston migrates outward on long weekends…)

      • I apologize to Brandon…I really don’t want to derail your blog posting or this thread, and I mean all due respect to Blake. I’m thrilled he’s still making records & this new project is great.

        But Smoking Popes’ record has been a consistent go-to record for me stretching all the way back to early summer. I played it over and over and over again for weeks. It makes my stomach churn when I see some of the things being written about (not Thorns of Life mind you, I just thought this entry would make an apropo segue-way for my argument). Maybe if some people come out of the woodwork and champion it the way it deserves to be championed, the album doesn’t die an undeserved regional death.

        • wut?  |   Posted on Nov 16th, 2008 0

          Do you guys work at the Smoking Popes label or something? This threadjack is totally ridiculous. Jawbreaker/Crimpshrine/Pinhead Gunpowder>Smoking Popes any day. Especially in terms of newsworthiness. Don’t mean to be a dick, but stick to the topic at hand. Innernets 101.

          • i don’t mean to be a dick either, but if you read the entire thread, both Jimmy Eat World and a Get Up Kids reunion were mentioned before i brought up the Popes. no matter which of these bands you like more or you think are better, they’re all purveyors of the same genre of music. and like i said, not trying to derail thread. let’s talk about thorns of life by all means! i think i made my point — also, lol @ work for their label. can i just like them and want them to do well without having a personal stake in it? i guess that’s why i write a music blog, too — so bands can pay me to go on stereogum and talk about them in the comments section. gg.

  9. the chesterfield king  |   Posted on Nov 16th, 2008 0
    • Michael_  |   Posted on Nov 16th, 2008 0

      Whoa, thanks a lot for posting those. Even though the sound quality was not A+, it’s very, very promising. Everybody there looked like they were having a great time, too. I think I said it already, but I can’t wait.

  10. phill  |   Posted on Nov 17th, 2008 0

    Cometbus is cool and all but calling it DIY Kerouac is just ridiculously over the top.

  11. god i miss jets to brazil.
    the good old days…

  12. Vampire Weekend  |   Posted on Nov 17th, 2008 0

    Blaaake’s Got A New Band!!!

  13. Walt  |   Posted on Sep 11th, 2009 0

    Thorns broke up, but blake’s in a new band called forgetters (no the, no capital f)

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