Tuesday, May 8, 2012

[MUSIC: Album Review] The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Aufheben

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Riot House/Inertia

Never a group to make the same album twice, The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s 13th studio album forgoes the more abrasive, alienating elements of the previous two albums (My Bloody Underground and Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?) in favour of mellow, electronica coupled with elements which hark back to their earlier work.
The album marks the return of founding member Matt Hollywood – AWOL since 1999’s Bringing It All Back Home Again – and his guitar work can be heard prominently throughout.
The sound of birds chirping begins track one, ‘Panic In Babylon’, before some Middle Eastern sounds take over, hitting on a mesmerising riff that drives the track. Only the sound of a Kookaburra laughing its head off breaks the trance, before a rooster crows to signal the start of ‘Viholliseni Maalla’, a propulsive jam sung in Finnish.
One of the great strengths Anton Newcombe (and whoever happens to make up the BJM during a particular time) have always had is the power to make engrossing, entrancing songs based on nothing more than a repeating riff, or one prominent instrument soloing over a sound bed. Aufheben contains a handful of tracks like ‘I Wanna Hold Your Other Hand’ and ‘Face Down On The Moon’ which contain this quality.
Since attracting wider infamy (thanks to that film), Newcombe seemed like he was trying to make music that was the antithesis of what people were expecting. With Aufheben, it seems like he’s more at peace with the past without being shackled by it.
It probably isn’t the first BJM album to buy if you’re a newcomer but if you dig their catalogue, this is a worthy addition.
Michael Hartt

No comments:

Post a Comment