December 18, 2005
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Strung Out In Heaven
If you've never heard of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, you are too late. The mad genius that is Anton Newcombe once had a vision to start a revolution. To ruin the music industry with his commercial free music. His plan was to become an insanely popular musical visionary through his music without it ever getting help from the corporate hands that cripple new bands and rape them for all they're worth. Unfortunately, after going through nearly 60 band members since they formed, Anton accomplished nothing more than releasing a dozen or so albums, but still became an indie rock favorite. To get a better glimpse of how insane Anton Newcombe really is, the only recommendation I can give you is to go to your local Blockbuster and rent the rock documentary "Dig!". There from the beginning, it documents the bands highs and many lows, heroin addictions, live shows that were guaranteed to end in a brawl with band members fighting each other on stage or taking it into the crowd to fight their few fans, and dissecting Anton's head to see what was really going on in there.
"Strung Out in Heaven" is Anton's failure. His first major record release, and you can almost hear it in the music. Much more calm than his older stuff, yet it still packs a powerful punch. Sounding like it is straight from the 60's, the influences from the Velvet Underground and 60's Rolling Stones are hard to deny. Anton's voice however, is peculiar enough to make the band different from the rest, singing his meaningful lyrics with a raspy twist. Some tracks sound like psychedelic garage style trip stuff, while other songs are acoustic masterpieces. Songs like "Maybe Tomorrow", "Dawn", "Spun", and "Going to Hell" make this album irresistible. "Maybe Tomorrow" is a song you'll listen to then go pick up a guitar and learn the tabs just so you can play it in your room by yourself. "Spun" is about falling for a girl that turns your mind into a basket case. "Going to Hell" sets the scene for this album too well. As a first song it really delivers. How can I forget "Dawn", without a doubt my favorite song on this album. One of the most catchy guitar riffs I've heard in a long time. Another plus to this album is that it is full of whistling tunes, something you don't come across too often. Not one person can listen to "Dawn" or "Lantern" without whistling along with the song.
I would advise you to go listen to The Brian Jonestown Massacre before they self destruct, but like I said before, its too late. So the best I can hope for is that someone purchases their music and enjoys it for what it is. An indie band with masterpieces that will never get the recognition they deserved.
at 11:16 AM