After several enticing preview singles, the world now gets to enjoy the sixteenth album by The Brian Jonestown Massacre in full. Don’t Get Lost is the band’s Berlin album, and it mixes their classic psych-clatter sound with elements of jazz and post-punk, with help from guests like Tim Burgess from The Charlatans and Emil Nikolaisen from Serena-Maneesh. CD and double yellow vinyl LP editions on Anton Newcombe’s own ‘a’ Recordings imprint.
Double LP £21.49 AUK040LP
180g yellow vinyl 2LP on 'a' Recordings.
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CD £11.49 AUK040CD
CD on 'a' Recordings.
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"If I hear this bass line one more time..." growls Robin and I have every sympathy. Psych/kraut rock is everywhere. We can't move for it here at the towers. Good, bad, indifferent there's an overload of the stuff which threatens enjoyment of the stuff that is actually good. Luckily Brian Jonestown Massacre are good. We knew that already right? They've been good for a long time though dare I say it their previous album 'Third World Pyramid' didn't fully catch light after the brilliance of it's predecessor 'Revelation' - a career high point in my perhaps jaundiced view.
'Don't Get Lost' follows rather hot on the heels of 'Third World Pyramid' but any worries that this has been in anyway slopped out are smashed to smithereens in the duration of the first three tracks. All showcase a different side of what BJM do. 'Open Minds Now Close' featuring *that* bass line is a tight piece of kraut rock that lures you into it's web seemingly through sheer repetition and a compressed vintage sound. 'Melody's Actual Echo Chamber' is a dubbed out cut and splice piece of reggae infused slow jam but 'Resist Much Obey Little' harks brilliantly back to 'Revelation' era with a swirling piece of repeat-o rock with dark undercurrents. Not everything wins however 'Groove Is In The Heart' is a bluesy dirge with alternate male/female vocals and just sounds...um... obvious in comparison to the more enlightening material. But this is the nature of the current Brian Jonestown Massacre...what emerges is everything that comes out of Anton Newcombe's mind seemingly filter free. Elements of their more psych pop days are still evident but generally the band are more keen to play around with textures and a more improvised way of working. 'Throbbing Gristle' is a perfect example. Starting out as if ready to burst into song it follows a gruesome path down the dark alleys of Suicide style repetition with massive reverbed amp drops interrupting the strung out female vocals.
On 'Don't Get Lost' Brian Jonestown remain fearless. Not for them the comfortable reassurance of repeating music from their past. If I had a criticism it's there's an over use of other voices at times. There's absolutely no reason why Anton couldn't have sung the otherwise excellent 'Dropping Bombs on the Sun', ...sometimes this approach makes them sound like an entirely different band but maybe that's the point. They have a magpie like propulsion to pick corners of the history of music to push their sound in new areas and even if a few blind alley's are pursued this still sounds pretty fresh for a band on their 19th album.
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