I can't say enough good things about the criminally underrated Brian Jonestown Massacre. I first got in to the band around 4 years ago when a friend made a copy of this album for me. On first hearing I was completely blown away - and astonished that a band of this calibre had almost passed me by. From the psychedelic swirl of opener 'Supersonic' through to the tear-jerking, balls-out honesty of 'Devil May Care (Mom & Dad Don't)', via such classics as cheeky two fingered salute to The Dandy Warhols 'Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth' and the Donovan-esque 'Servo', this is Anton & Co. at their blistering best. Featuring the classic Jonestown line-up (including über laid-back Joel Gion and would-be front man Matt Hollywood), this album is unusually tight and polished - purists may argue that this goes against the band's ramshackle DIY ethos, but that's what makes this album so damn accessible. 'Give It Back' opened the door for me to invest in the entire BJM back catalogue, but this is one of two albums I find myself coming back to again and again (the other being the sublime Bravery, Repitition and Noise). Of the thirteen albums to choose from, this is a perfect place to start for anyone new to the band... man are you guys in for a treat.
... your time's up! I'm no longer jealous of all the fans that could see you live on stage in the sixties and seventies. Or all the other great bands that I should mention here. For The Brian Jonestown Massacre must have listened to them all and learned what it's all about. Their musical influences range from the sitar playing Beatles to the psychedelic Stones; from the whining Church to the carefree Monkees; from Spiritualized-at-their-most-cynical to Pink Floyd-taking-themselves-too-seriously. So, how come the BJM aren't regarded as a veteran rock band yet in spite of their 11 excellent releases? Is it because frontman Anton Newcombe is better remembered for his on-stage antics than for his beautiful songs? Then boycott his concerts but buy his CDs. 'Give it back!' is not the worst one to start with. It has the satirical 'Not If You Were The Last Dandy on Earth' (a reference to Newcombe's friends and enemies, The Dandy Warhols), dreamy 'Super-Sonic' with the nightmarish intro and tambourine-led 'Malela' with the sad lyrics but happy melody, perhaps the most beautiful song on 'Give it back!'. Mick Jagger move over. Your time's up.
I only recently got into the Brian Jonestown Massacre, which is a shame. Been missing out. I've heard most of their catalogue now and this is one of the best. Basically, you get the typical jangly, expansive psychedelic sound, found on most of their albums. This time there's spurts of flamenco and county thrown into the mixer too. Some great tunes in there. It does tail off a little towards the end but just when you think it's all over the final track comes along and turns into four different tunes, a couple of which are really doing it.