While Anton Newcombe has been creatively quiet since 2003's `And This Is Our Music' (bar the so so `We Are the Radio'), he has been touring copiously, capitalising on the cult success of `Dig!' and the two-disc compilation `Tepid Peppermint Wonderland.' 2006 has also seen his back catalogue reissued, giving people like me the chance to catch up on one of the mightiest back catalogues of recent years. As I thought when listening to `Give It Back', `take it from the man!', `And This is Our Music', `Strung Out in Heaven', `Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request' etc, - another BJM classic. I often wonder why they hardly registered pre-`Dig!'
2001's `BRAVERYREPETITIONANDNOISE' finds BJM-leader and multi- instrumentist Newcombe joined by 11 other musicians giving the world another 12 killer tracks. As with the versions of `Straight Up and Down' on `take it from the man!' , the album climaxes with an alternate version of an earlier track - tenth track `If I Love You' being revisited as the `New European Gold Standard Secret Babylonian Brotherhood Cinema Mix'!
Each BJM album manages to advance on earlier material, tapping into their early sound, but here it feels more expansive - Newcombe really knows what he's doing, though folk should notice that the Dandy Warhols leader Courtney Taylor helps out with the mixing (as Newcombe appeared on the tremendous `Get Off' by the Dandys). This album sounds wonderful, along with `And This is Our Music' it is the best produced BJM-album - let's hope Anton continues this standard when he finally releases a new album!
It's the BJM, so safe to say it's all a highlight - the band are great even when they're off form, managing to play the same songs differently each time, while sounding utterly contemporary and like all the greatest bands from the past at the same time. There are highlights of course, `Open Heart Surgery' sounds like a slowed down version of `Dying Days' by Screaming Trees with a guitar sound that makes me think of Love and Ennio Morricone and a vocal that is a bit Robert Smith! `Stolen' is a revisit to the acoustic climes of `Thank God for Mental Illness', one of those great psyched out acoustic songs not far from Syd Barrett, Daniel Johnston and Skellington-Julian Cope. Live standards `Nevertheless' and `Sailor' are very much the centrepiece of the album, the former an addictive riff-driven joy with the refrain "Please play by the rules", while the latter seems as rich as a track from `Forever Changes' or `No Other' - imagine if The Band had had a song as great as this!!
`Telegram' is another highlight, sounding like the missing link between the first Kingsbury Manx album and an earlier joy such as `This is Why You Love Me.' `Let Me Stand By Your Flower' revisits the psych-climes of `Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request', sounding like a `Nuggets' band with a working knowledge of The Jesus & Mary Chain. Opener `Just for Today' reminds me a little of something like Mazzy Star or Low, a more subtle take on the territory bands like Mojave 3 and Primal Scream have explored - this is probably how `Sonic Flower Groove' should have sounded!
So...another classic album from the Brian Jonestown Massacre. One to catch up on if you aren't already familiar. And yes...that is cult director Jim Jarmusch on the cover!!