The Brian Jonestown Massacre – 'Revelation' album review

Anton Newcombe and his cult psychonauts are back, sounding amazingly contemporary

0

Comments

Add +

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5


Ten years after his band became the anarchic subjects of Ondi Timoner’s cult documentary ‘Dig!’, Anton Newcombe is a teetotal stay-at-home dad in Berlin. It’s tempting to think of that kind of stability blunting creativity: after all, in the ’90s The Brian Jonestown Massacre built their reputation on Newcombe’s magnetic/repulsive personality – driven by heavy drug use and frequently resulting in mid-set punch-ups – as much as their records (which never sold that well anyway).

But ‘Revelation’, even more so than the band’s drifting last record ‘Aufheben’, is ample proof that Newcombe’s talent has outlasted the drugs, the drink, the fights, the chaos and even The Dandy Warhols. God knows how, but this gangly psychedelic hero and his loose pool of backing musicians are still able to turn a repetitive sequence of lackadaisical guitar chords into something you’ve heard a million times and never before.

It’s a trick the band pull off repeatedly and almost entirely successfully on ‘Revelation’. Opening track ‘Vad Hände Med Dem’ pairs The BJM’s trademark strum with a distorted Swedish vocal and a motorik drum beat, and ‘Unknown’ takes tips from Syd Barrett’s whacked-out solo career. ‘Xibalba’ and ‘Goodbye (Butterfly)’ approach pastoral pop, while ‘Second Sighting’ goes the whole psych-folk hog.

Freakier still are the instrumental ‘Duck and Cover’ (appropriately apocalyptic) and ‘Memorymix’: the soundtrack to the grooviest, smokiest basement party that you never managed to get into. It turns out that The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s embrace of the tripped-out past makes them sound astonishingly relevant in psych-obsessed 2014. Add to that some top-drawer songwriting, and ‘Revelation’ ends up well towards the top end of the band’s long and complicated discography. Dig it.



What do you think of ‘Revelation’? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

Buy this album on Amazon  |  Buy this album on iTunes

Listen to The Brian Jonestown Massacre on Spotify


Users say

2 comments
EnGulligPojke
EnGulligPojke

"Vad hände med dem?" is in Swedish, not german.

See The Brian Jonestown Massacre live

The Vacant Lots

Tipped by psychedelic connoisseur Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown

  1. Shacklewell Arms 71 Shacklewell Lane, E8 2EB
  2. Wed Sep 24
More info

Read more music features

Interview: Rustie

The shy guy producer on the language of birds and the benefits of recording at 30,000 feet

What's the deal with… Protomartyr

Everything you need to know about the furious foursome from Detroit

Interview: John Morales

The disco hero and studio wizard on being robbed by the Stones and how his bladder influenced his career

Guess who's back: Jamie T

After four years in the wilderness, the Wimbledon bard is making a comeback

Interview: Basement Jaxx

The club-conquering duo are back with a new album, but where’s Felix Buxton’s head at? Ballet, advocating unity and spotting UFOs

See all Time Out music features