Near-miss incidents may not result in damage or injury, but they should not be ignored. This week, EHS Daily Advisor wrote about the importance of near-miss reporting. To go along with that focus, the Song of the Week is “Accident Prone,” a low-key masterpiece from Bay Area punk act Jawbreaker.
The fourth track on the band’s fourth album, 1995’s Dear You, “Accident Prone” talks about near misses of the emotional variety. “A near miss or a close call?/I keep a room at the hospital/I scratch my accidents into the wall.”
Jawbreaker were veterans of the Bay Area punk scene when Green Day and the Offspring suddenly found success in 1994 with their catchy pop-punk. Despite having a much different sound than those acts and more serious lyrical content, Jawbreaker began receiving major-label offers even as they were touted as the “thinking man’s Green Day.” Frontman Blake Schwarzenbach steadfastly denied any plans to sign with a major, but the band ended up signing with Geffen Records anyway, which enraged their fan base.
Dear You was their major label debut, but Jawbreaker’s longtime fans were turned off by the cleaner sound and clearer vocals. The album was unable to get much in the way of radio or MTV airplay and sunk like a stone, and the band broke up in 1996 after the Dear You tour ended.
In retrospect, critics have lauded its tight musicianship and introspective lyrics. The album has been cited as a big influence on the emo movement that emerged a few years later. Many artists have covered songs from Dear You, including Julien Baker (see below for her cover of “Accident Prone”).
The members of Jawbreaker reunited in 2017 and have toured a few times since but haven’t released any new music as of yet.