Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Wig Out at Jagbags
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2014 Ratings: #389 / 845
User Score
Based on 71 ratings
2014 Ratings: #391
January 7, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Matador / Domino / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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It feels looser than most of the Jicks records; the compositions are tight but the attitude is ragged, which winds up being more infectious and fun than albums where the songs drift but the instruments are tight.


Pop-rock deconstructionist, art-rock godfather, Portland father and family man: all these elements come through here and it makes this album a triumph.

The Skinny

Even with brass embellishments lending an air of overt politeness to proceedings, Wig Out is both slanted and enchanted enough to goof its way into your heart.


Stephen Malkmus’s career post Pavement has largely been hit or miss, but on Wig Out At Jagbags the hit quota is as high as it has ever been. This is the album that any Malkmus aficionado would hope for.

The Line of Best Fit

Wig Out at Jagbags is pretty much everything we could have hoped for from Stephen Malkmus at this point in his career.

Drowned in Sound

Ten years of fronting one of the greatest American bands of the Nineties hasn't left the man a complacent drudge but rather pushed him to do what Pavement never allowed.

A.V. Club

None of the pressure of his legacy has ever infected Malkmus’ solo recordings, and though he hasn’t equaled any of his ’90s peaks over the past decade, he keeps putting out accomplished, pleasing records with occasional highlights.

Pretty Much Amazing

Warts and all, Jagbags is a good, not great album. Malkmus is still wry, he’s still clever and the music is still casual yet coherent, and as long as he’s those things the music he produces will be worth a listen. 


It’s Malkmus doing what he does well rather than trying to reinvent himself or keep up with the young’ns.

The Fly

‘Wig Out At Jagbags’, his sixth album with The Jicks, might lack the edginess of twenty years ago, but it still serves as an enjoyable platform for Malkmus’ singular songwriting talent.


Like its predecessors, Jagbags feels casual in a way that Malkmus' old band, for all the slacker clichés lobbed lazily their way, were too young and too committed to finding their place in the world to risk.

The 405

Whilst the chances of him throwing us a curveball any time soon seem pretty slim, Jicks releases are infrequent enough that you should have little difficulty enjoying them for what they are when they do come around.

Under The Radar

Jagbags might suffer from a mild case of "the mids"—mid-paced, middle-aged, and (at times) middle-of-the-road—but there is still much to enjoy here. 


‘Wig Out At Jagbags’ is the sound of a man who finally has enough distance – geographically, psychologically – for nostalgia, even as he knows he’s too old to do it all again.


Most of it sounds sort of like 70s guitar-rock rendered as some kind of ergonomic desk toy: compact, brightly colored, unlikely to stir the depths of the soul but nifty nevertheless.


Malkmus here sounds at times as inspired and reinvigorated as he’s been post-Pavement—and maybe even as far back as Wowee Zowee—as he goes with the flow with a wry sense of humor and playfulness that doesn’t seem burdened or get too arch too often.

Consequence of Sound

Jagbags has the overarching feel of a party full of nostalgia-tripping friends reunited as adults who no longer have the energy nor desire for serious conversation — they’re just happy to be here.

Worth a listen
Just a handful of indie tracks that range from pretty good to just dull. As an album, it's nothing special. Songwriting is simple with some moments.

Favourite tracks: J Smoov, Chartjunk, Lariat
Best Track: Lariat, Houston Hades, Chartjunk, or Independence Street
Worst Track: Shibboleth
Most Overrated Track: J Smoov
Most Underrated Track: The Janitor Revealed
By far the rawest album Stephen and the Jicks have recorded. All the songs seem a car rollicking towards an inevitable wreck, and I mean that as a most sincere compliment. Malkmus always has clear control while at the wheel of this runaway machine. This album is both solid and fun, but at the same time a retread of old material, which makes it nothing special at the same time.
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Track List

  1. Planetary Motion
  2. The Janitor Revealed
  3. Lariat
  4. Houston Hades
  5. Shibboleth
  6. J Smoov
  7. Rumble at the Rainbo
  8. Chartjunk
  9. Independence Street
  10. Scattegories
  11. Cinnamon and Lesbians
  12. Surreal Teenagers
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thisisabtlgrnd, philthy, erik, patton

Added on: November 12, 2013