All Content © 1997, 1998 Jared O'Connor and Michael Baker

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Take It From The Man! - Bomp! - 1996

January 7, 1999

With the wittiest name around and an obvious case of Rolling Stones worship, The Brian Jonestown Massacre perfectly illustrate the crucial difference between emulation and imitation. The Stones have spawned countless third-rate imitators, but few bands have captured the strutting, cocksure rocker stance and knowledge of roots the way that The Brian Jonestown Massacre have.

Apparently determined to rip though the Stones' back pages and rewrite them in their own image, The Brian Jonestown Massacre ditched a chance to be the next My Bloody Valentine - their debut Methodrone is superb dream-pop - to launch Their Satanic Majesties Second Request, an homage to the Stones' underrated, dizzy experiment with psychedelia. Take It From The Man! digs deeper, inspired by the gritty R&B of Aftermath or 12x5. The feedback and production is total 90's, but the style is straight 1964, and a glorious style it is.

The core of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is Anton Newcombe, who is attempting to make himself a rock star by acting like one. With the balls to grandstand and the wasted delivery to pull it off, Newcombe and his band have made a record that blows away anything the Stones have recently done, which is exactly the point. In an era of introspective, pasty PC alt-rockers who claim to despise their own fame, it's refreshing to see someone who just wants to snort cocaine off a hooker's ass and Rock Out for a change.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre have the attitude and chops of vintage Stones, making songs like "Straight Up and Down" blister with energy and electric blues like "B.S.A" swagger like mad. The albums runs a bit long, but self-indulgence is to be expected from a band willing to challenge living legends on their own turf. Judging from this album and the stunning lo-fi country-rock follow up Thank God For Mental Illness, old Mick and Keith had better hit the books or pack it in.

- Jared O'Connor

The attitude and chops
of vintage Stones

All Content © 1997, 1998 Jared O'Connor and Michael Baker