The Brian Jonestown Massacre are widely known for their “riot” at The Viper Room for an industry showcase in 1996. After watching the film “Dig!” which chronicles some years of their journey, I was moved to give their albums a full listen.
"Take It From The Man" was the first of three records released by BJM in 1996. Below is my review in the now infamous Tweet format:
1. “Vacuum Boots” Sounds like this would/could/should be huge right now. If this came out in 2013 they’d be an English, Pitchfork buzz band with drug problems
2. “Who?” Now it’s like early Oasis type britpop meets the Kinks or something. This song is awesome.
3. “Oh Lord” Now I can see the Rolling Stones references. This sounds like it came out in the later part of that era. Really sloppy vibe
4. “Caress” More of that bluesy stuff. This music is making me lose my mind. HBO should use this song, too
5. “(David Bowie I Love You) Since I Was Six” They’ve moved into some post-Beatles/Bowie territory (obviously). Such a nice way to mix up the album. You won’t expect it. Excellent song
6. “Straight Up And Down” This song sounds like the best 60s song and best 60s song rip off at the same time. Kings of Leon could have lived on if they’d done this
7. “Monster” Now they trip out while soothing you at the same time. Would have been on that show, “The Wonder Years”
8. “Take It From The Man” Rolling Stones are back. If Blues pirates existed, this would be the swampy tune they got down to. RTT should cover this song
9. “B.S.A.” Reminds me of Paul Weller. Or that album the Jesus and Mary Chain did in the 90s that was like The Verve. They’re all connected! Conspiracy?
10. “Mary Please” This song is a bit boring compared to the rest. Not bad but just jammy
11. “Monkey Puzzle” This song contrasts by being one of the most exciting on the record. I wonder if they add these jammy songs in to make the others stand out
12. “Fucker” The arrangements are awesome. The lyrics are either really good or really bad. Haven’t decided.
13. “Dawn” This song is awesome. One of the best songs on this album.
14. “Cabin Fever” So many bands are trying to do this sound. This song is definitely an odd single
15. “In My Life” I think this is a Matt Hollywood track. Good thing Anton let him put it on the album
16. “Be Song” Alright track. A bit forgettable though. How did it go again?
17. “My Man Syd” Could have ended on a stronger note. Makes me consider why they didn’t trim the album down
Overall, Take It From The Man is a good album that shows how much potential BJM had. At 17 official tracks, the album is a bit long, especially considering some songs wouldn’t have been missed if omitted. But this album is enough for me to consider myself a fan of the group and I’m looking forward to getting into their other records. Also, anyone know Joel Gion? I want him to play on our next album!
As a reminder, we’ll be playing the world famous Viper Room in Hollywood, CA tonight at 7:30. We go on at 8pm sharp. Also playing are Armada and This Passenger. More info and tickets are available here.