Brian Jonestown Massacre review on Limewire

Once there was a nut back in the early '90s named Anton Newcombe, who had a goofy, shoegazer, wannabe-Spacemen 3 troupe called Brian Jonestown Massacre. In the mid-1990s Newcombe hooked up with the godfather of the garage-punk movement, Greg Shaw, and recorded a handful of seminal albums for Shaw's legendary Bomp! label. These recordings sparked an underground revolution in pop music, as this flying circus of a band stumbled between blind authentic retro devotion and a ragged new lad sensibility that outshone all competitors, including the legendary Oasis. Just when the group was teetering on the verge of mainstream success, Newcombe climbed further down the rabbit hole, movies were made, and the genius captured on albums Take It From The Man and Thank God For Mental Illness was never to be heard from again. However, the latest EP from Newcombe is a possible indicator that his exile may be over and also that he may still have a few good albums left in him. Of the five songs on Smoking Acid only "i Alvoru Talao" is a throw-away; it's simply a remake of the opening track, "The Serious Matter," sung in Finnish. That track is nice, with a solid New York Dolls riff and some trademark BJM guitar sounds, but definitely not the main attraction here. That distinction belongs to the two Spectrum/Sonic Boom influenced tracks, "Tempo 116.7 (Reaching For Dangerous Levels Of Sobriety)" and "Tempo 116.7 (Clean Acid/Dirty Beats)." Both are propelled by a nice lounge-y, downtempo beat and a sample of rapper Paris from "The Devil Made Me Do It." From there, Newcombe expands the sound palette to an experimental level akin to a three-day bender in Pepperland with the Blue Meanies. But the real winner here is "Super Fucked" which captures all of the yearning and romantic qualities of vintage BJM with some nicely employed synthesizer blips and strings, indicating that Newcombe might have some exciting new directions planned for the latest chapter in the ongoing Brian Jonestown Massacre soap opera.

(By Sean-Michael Yoder, LimeWire Store)

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