Albums Of The Year So Far (pt.1): Featuring Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mighty High, Mid-day Veil, First Aid Kit and more…
We asked various members of the Classic Rock team to come up with their Top Five Albums Of The Year So Far. First up it’s the sultan of sleaze, aka Sleazegrinder, with a quintet of surprisingly un-sleazy choices…
5. Brian Jonestown Massacre – Aufheben (A Records)
Frisco trip-rockers BJM, as I call ‘em when my typewtriting fingers hurt, were major contenders in the 90s psychedelic wars. As documented in the engaging and frequently hair-raising documentary Dig!, their chief nemeses were the Dandy Warhols (who, coincidentally, also have a spiffy new record out!).
While Jonestown had/has a druggy death-guru upfront (Anton Newcombe) and the willingness to take ‘experimental’ to Amon Duul-ish heights of foolishness, the Dandies had a hit song (Bohemian Like Me), nicer faces, and they didn’t prematurely end their shows in a flurry of fists nearly as often. And really, once the Flaming Lips found that hamster ball, it was all over anyway. So, Anton and co gave up the fame game and went underground. Deep underground. Like, Berlin.
That’s where they’re based now, and anything goes over there. Just ask Bowie. There have been sporadic releases in the past decade, but this is the first one in awhile that Anton seems willing to push, and it’s well worth the (erm) dig.
Essentially, it’s a series of ragas, buzzy and hypnotic, suggesting disco snakecharmers and the sweat and blood of metaphysical 70s westerns like El Topo and I Will Walk Like A Crazy Horse. Plus there’s lots of bird calls. I haven’t had anything heavier than an aspirin for decades, but this is one loopy, woozy, sofa-sinking horsepill of a record. Way groovy.