Steve Wilson. On music.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jim Jones Revue - Burning Your House Down (Punk Rock Blues)

Jim Jones has been knocking around the British rock scene since the late Eighties. His previous band, Thee Hypnotics, combined blues and psychedelic influences, tending toward long-ass jams that weren’t terribly removed from, uh, stoner rock. And in 2004 he formed the Jim Jones Revue. With the band’s new album, Burning Your House Down, I’m pretty much ready to swallow their Kool-Aid.

The JJR was described by one critic, more or less aptly, as “a car crash between Little Richard and the MC5.” Okay, the imagery is a little violent and jejune. It’s also not that far off.

Instead of Thee Hypnotics’ blitzed jams,  the JJR favor short, jagged bursts of maniacal rock ‘n’ roll that pay homage to the primordial intensities of Fifties fathers like Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. But Fifties homage this ain’t. Like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the JJR take full advantage of the last several decades’ worth of sonic advances and abrasion. Certainly, among their inspirations, you could include the MC5, Stooges, New York Dolls, and the Sonics. And if that’s stoner rock it’s for much shorter attention spans, as the bug-eyed speed-freak rock of Burning Your House Down attests.