Release Date – 30th April 2012
Label – 2012 ‘a’ Records
Rating – 7/10
Cult sixties revivalists The Brian Jonestown Massacre released their twelfth studio album last week and it can be earmarked as a return to form for a band that had lost their way in the heady pop shit-storm that was the 00s.
The album, entitled Aufheben, moves away from the disco/house vibes of last effort Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? and see’s Anton Newcombe and his merry men return to the sounds that shot BJM to underground stardom in the mid 90s.
Thus, due to this, the highlights from the record are the tracks most reminiscent of their early work, most notably the Beatles homage ‘I want to hold your other hand’ and the pounding rhythms of ‘Waking up to hand Grenades.’
The stand out moment however comes in ‘Seven Kinds of Wonderful’, a track that has been knocking around online in demo form for the last couple of years. It finds BJM at their neo-psychedelic best with Newcombe droning indecipherable lyrics over a backdrop of endless swirls of noise that lap at the ears.
Other examples of psychedelia include opening track ‘Panic in Babylon’ and also midway track ‘Face Down on the Moon.’ Both tracks are instrumentals and, particularly the latter, deploy Middle Eastern elements.
What Aufheben is then is a return to form for the band. Although by no way comparable to the classic trinity of albums all released in 1996 of Take it From the Man!, Their Satanic Majesties Second Request and Thank God for Mental Illness, it is the most focused and consistent collection the group have put out since the dawn of the millennium.
Check out The Brian Jonestown Massacre here.