Jewish music that doesn’t suck

This was originally posted on Heeb

One of the biggest problems with Jewish music is, well, itís too Jewish. I donít understand why Jews canít write music about Jewish issues without bringing up the Torah. I recently drove a U-haul from Texas to the Bay Area and it only had a radio, no CD player or auxiliary audio jack for mp3s. If youíve driven through the middle of nowhere before, you already know thereís usually a surplus of Christian radio on the dial. On my trip I listened to a lot of surprisingly good Jesus music, but I couldnít tell it was Jesus music until the commercials about supporting families and protesting gay marriage came on. I began to wonder, ďWhy canít Jews make music that doesnít sound or deal with inherently religious topics?Ē

Meet The Groggers, possibly the first
Orthodox Jewish band that doesnít sound Jewish. Fuck, even Matisyahu canít go a few lines without throwing in some biblical verse. And donít even get me started on the so-called Chabad hip hop movement. I was listening to the new album from The Groggers the other day and for the first time in my life I forgot I was listening to Jewish music. I thought for a second that I was listening to MXPX or New Found Glory. The Groggers are a Modern Orthodox Jewish punk rock band from Queens that sings about young Jewish angst.

I first heard about The Groggers last year when they put out a music video about giving a girl a get. A get is a religious divorce document required by Jewish law so that a woman may remarry. In some instances a man may withhold the†get,†to keep a woman in order to extort money or retain power over her. It was a pleasure to see a song about such a serious issue from an Orthodox band.

The new album Thereís No I in Cherem is filled with songs about dating, the Upper West Side, Israeli politics and playing ball on Shabbos. Itís pop-punk, feel-good music that makes you bob your head in the car and forget about the stop and go traffic on your morning commute. Malka Jihad is their take on Israeli politics. The song is about a boy who falls in love with a liberal Jewish girl who supports the creation of a Palestinian state. Itís funny and although obviously right-wing, I respect that they werenít clichť in their unwavering anti-Palestinian stance.

Their newest video is decent, but it’s the music that rocks:

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