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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I'm not sure why, but I didn't hear of the Brian Jonestown Massacre until the release of the acclaimed documentary 'Dig!' in which they were obviously stars. BJM-mainman Anton Newcombe was reportedly unhappy with the way the documentary was edited, it seemed all the problem points in seven years were bundled together & the rivalry with the Dandy Warhols exaggerated when you realise Newcombe played on '13 tales from urban bohemia', still big ups 'Dandy's Rule OK' & appeared live with them last year.

The positive side of 'Dig!' is that they've found the audience that has so far eluded them and there's quite a bit of catching up to do after double-LP compilation 'Tepid Peppermint Wonderland' : debut LP 'Methodrone' (1995), 'Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request' (1996), 'thank god for mental illness' (1996), this LP, out-takes compilation 'Spacegirl & Other Favourites', 'Give It Back' (1997), 'Strung Out in Heaven' (1998), 'Bringing It All Back Home Again' (1999), the 'Zero' e.p. (2000), 'Bravery, Repetition and Noise' (2001), '...And This Is Our Music' (2003), 'We Are the Radio e.p.' (2005) & a rumoured new album due at some point this year (they are set to return to the UK in the Autumn). Having started with 'Tepid Peppermint...' I've listened to almost all of the albums and not found a dud one - I was expecting their debut to be a patchy ode to shoegazing, but it's great. The BJM at present remain a cult band somehow I can't see them doing Wembley Arena, and seeing them the other night I think Newcombe's stand-up comedy banter and the spacerock-jam at the end turned off the kind of people that listen to Editors and the Libertines...

'take it from the man!' has a great cover, Newcombe is quite the anglophile and his list of 'good sh*t' on his website includes Julian Cope/The Teardrop Explodes, the Bunnymen, the LAs, the Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, Ride, & The Dukes of Stratosphear amongst others. Four of the songs are written by Matt Hollywood, who would later leave and form The Out Crowd. These are easily the weakest songs, tending to all be a but too Mary Chain circa 'Stoned & Dethroned' - the most interesting Hollywood-composition is the epic 'cabin fever' which has a great vocal & sounds like the missing link between Moby Grape & Beachwood Sparks with a psyched-out groove. The rest of the record appears to be penned by Newcombe, who remains the most talented guy associated with this band - a blend of Cope, Genesis P-Orridge (who appeared in 'Dig!' & gets a thank you here alongside tim leary, both of spacemen 3 & the dandy warhols), and Mark E Smith (the band members & folks who fall out with him still work with him and admire him, the shaman-vibe!). It should be pointed out there are artists/bands who have spun off/been influenced by BJM/Newcombe - Black Rebel Motorcyle Club, The Out Crowd, The Lovetones, The Quarter After, The Warlocks (who Newcombe played drums for at one point), The Dilettantes, Icelandic support band Singapore Sling & Miranda Lee Richards.

The songs are all fantastic - opener 'vacuum boots' sounding like a jangly Byrds-track with English-affectations - I think that Psychic TV's 'Godstar'-soundtrack was a major influence. It typifies them in that it's stock indie-alternative, but seems to have something more; the same time they're clearly retro, but manage to avoid that Primal Scream/Ryan Adams thing of sounding like an imitation. If Oasis had a song as great as 'vacuum boots' they wouldn't be laughed at in the street. Had The House of Love not used the title, 'who?' could be called 'The Beatles and The Stones' as it fuses 'Satanic/Sympathy'-Stones with 'Revolver/Rain'-Beatles - the "whoos!" jarring wonderfully against the Lennonesque-vocal ("I see yellow...") which is as great as the Lennon-style vocal found on The Pretty Things' 'Baron Saturday (heck, I sense a hint of `Pictures of Matchstick Men' in there!). 'Caress' almost sounds like old style rock and roll, a ramshackle joy that paves the way for the sublime ode to the Thin White one, `(david bowie i love you) since i was six.' This shows what a multi-instrumentalist Newcombe is, using the accordion in a way that seems to have come into fashion lately (see The Arcade Fire, Secret Machines) and showcasing a spacey-keyboard sound not far from some Cope-work ('Land of Fear', 'Jellypop', that bit at the end of 'Hobby') and the kind of thing he developed on the last BJM-album ('Here It Comes', 'Introesque').

'Straight Up and Down' is another one of those great psych-rock songs the band specialise in, one of their standards alongside 'Evergreen', 'Satellite', 'Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth' & 'That Girl Suicide.' The vocals are quite Jagger initially - the extended version at the end of the album is even better...'monster' kind of puts Mike Hollywood in his place, being the perfect Mary Chain sounding song - Newcombe brings that something more and offers a wonderful psych/surf guitar sound that William Reid only really bothered with on his 'tired of fu*king' e.p. The title track sounds wild, as if the 'Let It Bleed/Altamont/Sticky Fingers'-Stones were playing their first album; I'd take it over 'Exile on Main Street.' You have to love Newcombe's anti-Stones rant quoted on the sleeve, despite its libellous nature!

There's even a tribute to Syd Barrett ('My Man Syd') which isn't as great as that Television Personalities song - it doesn't even much sound like Syd/early Floyd, reminding me more of The Beatles and Beck's weirder side ('Stereopathetic Soul Manure'). The far too brief 'f*cker' is another one that makes me think of 'Fried'/'Hobby'-era Cope, Newcombe's acoustic/keyboard work is great stuff and on the last album he was beginning to sound a bit Krautrock (...then again I see that in anyone - Girls Aloud, The Moody Blues, The Like...). The rest of the album is as great, anyway...The Brian Jonestown Massacre. 'take it from the man!' - what's not to adore?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2008
Think that the previous reviewer covered most of the bases. However He/She missed a standout track on this album and that is "Monkey Puzzle"
I have only been listening to the "BJM" Huh! for a week or so now, having bought 3 of their albums on the strength of seeing, Anton ET AL in the DVD "DIG" just a fortnight ago.
Listeners/collectors of '60s psychedelia. Who have all the albums by all their favourite bands and are looking for that hidden track from an album by a band that doesn't exist?

Hey! look no further "The Brian Jonestown Massacre" can hit the spot with every track they play.

You. Have all the "Nuggets", "Rubble","Pebbles","Boulders". Boxed sets. Plus the albums from the bands you thought you liked. And you don't play them anymore because you are in search of the ever elusive.

Well! Look No further, for these guys are continuing on all your favs. With all the same verve and enthusiasm. With more Modern lyrics and a mixture of sounds that cannot be pigeonholed.
Derivitive?.. Of what?.. The whole of the '60s in general?
Well I guess so.
Is that so bad?
All music is derivitive. It is human nature. (Unless someone has discovered some new Notes).
Anyways "Monkey Puzzle" . Soul/Rock/Psych. Like nothing you have heard. (Unless you had three songs playing at the same time.).
You will surely, purchase every Album, released by this band.....? I suppose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2015
This is an incredible album. It brings to mind elements from both The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, as well as feeling like something completely new, unlike anything I've ever heard. It has a sound that feels really raw and emotional, good examples would be the incredible vocal performances on the tracks '(David Bowie I Love You) Since I Was Six' and 'Cabin Fever'.

The package comes with two coloured vinyls, one red, one blue (matching the theme of the cover) and both of them play really well.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
If your into beatles stones psycedelia you should buy this. What a great record and many lovely songs. Anton is a way of life and i am living it
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on 9 March 2015
As a very late arrival on the BJM journey I am blown away by the quality of this album. Very much in the jangly end of psychedelic rock there are hints of all sorts of bands but the whole is utterly unique. Lyrically it has a lot of the dark side of Velvet Underground and not so much of the fey whimsy of Sgt. Peppers era Beatles. No bad thing as far as I am concerned. As others have already picked out, Monkey Puzzle is a great song but not actually my favourite which is the weird-out of My Man Syd, a classic reverential lovesong to a lost genius. The album comes in a very solid gatefold with two coloured vinyl discs which takes me back to the heady days of post-punk record buying in the lower sixth. Altogether a very strong package and a bargain for anyone who values raw emotional rock played on analogue equipment.
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on 3 October 2015
SCENE ONE: (the only scene) .. You're watching three movies at the same time. Any movies. .. For instance; Blood Simple, Performance, and a french film (blurred) There is no dialogue because the cat got everyone's tongue, so we paint sonic pictures in our dirty minds and sing psychedelic songs about valentines and murderers. .. This is the voice of the brave; we found the hidden tapes they didn't want us to hear. .. The Brian Jones drowned passenger has resurfaced. .. For we are the dead but never buried, so come join us and see the pop get cherried, and we can sing these songs all together. .. 'Uh~oh~no. .. Uh~oh~yeah. .. Uh~oh~no. .. Uh~oh~yeah..' (repeat and not fade away..)

Jack Heart Oct: 2015
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on 24 March 2011
picked up this band via the intro track for Boardwalk Empire, A BRILL bit of music. turned out to be, "straight up and down" by this band. got the cd to include 11min mix and whole album is the dogs------------!!!!!!!!!! if you like the barracudas and beau brummels you will love this. and amazon del was incred------------ i ordered at about 1600hrs yesterday and received at 1215hrs today!!!!!!!!!!!! that is balls out del times!!!
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on 5 April 2013
BJM at their best! The sequence of tracks including B.S.A, Mary Please and Monkey Puzzle is brilliant. Monkey Puzzle being Anton's strongest ever vocal! Great album that you should add to your collection.
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on 14 January 2015
Wow! Fantastic album, only found this band like a few others by watching Boardwalk Empire.
Cabin Fever personally is my stand out track, but there are just so many great tracks.
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on 25 May 2014
It's exactly what I asked for, and arrived in plenty of time. I have no complaints.thank you : ) I got this cd after watching Dig music documentary. Which I would also recommend.
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