The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Third World Pyramid

Written by: BV on 14/12/2016 11:53:32

If you’re beginning to lose track of just how much music has been released by The Brian Jonestown Massacre since their inception, I can’t really blame you. I am too. It’s a genuinely luxurious issue, as the quality of these (many) releases tend to be quite high compared to other bands with a similar working ethic – of which there are obviously very few. Because of this, it is not in the least surprising that I am not just delayed in writing this review of the most recent effort, “Third World Pyramid”, but also well aware that a new release titled “Don’t Get Lost” is on the horizon for imminent release. Talk about keeping busy.

Opening with a folk-like track in the form of “Good Mourning”, it is evident from the very beginning that BJM maestro Anton Newcombe has opted for a blend of quite a vast array of sounds on this record. As the track features Newcombe’s spouse Katy Lane on vocals, the tracks bears an odd vibe resembling The Velvet Underground – if they had jammed with The Incredible String Band or The Insect Trust. It’s pretty far out, but melodic as hell and an enticing album opener. On the following two tracks; “Government Beard” and “Don’t Get Lost”, we (as listeners) find ourselves surrounded by lush orchestral arrangements and driving beats. These tracks could easily have been on something like “Their Satanic Majesties Second Request” due to their intricate nature and kinship with some of the most eclectic tracks on that album. However, that does not make them sound stale or anything like that – they sound exactly like they should; like Newcombe taking elements of what he has already created and utilizing them to push himself further as a recording artist.

Whereas the long and winding “Assignment Song” with a total runtime of nearly 10 minutes could easily be described as a massive peak for “Third World Pyramid” as a whole, I’d still say songs like “Don’t Get Lost” and the lead-single “The Sun Ship” are the personal peaks for me. As for amazing song titles, I’d say it’s a damn shame that “Like Describing Colours to a Blind Man on Acid” isn’t nearly as epic sounding as its title suggests, even though it is quite a nice track all in all with a vibe not unlike most of the “Strung Out in Heaven” album.

For some people, “Third World Pyramid” might sound like a just another day at the office kind of effort from the hands of Anton Newcombe. However, a little perspective is kind of important in that context. Newcombe has always had a very specific sound upon which he has continually built a musical legacy – it would really make no sense to deviate all too much from that. I prefer the way he does deviate by incorporating his fascination with soundtracks and orchestral arrangements into the way he already writes music. It’s interesting to me, at least.


Download: Don’t Get Lost, Good Mourning, The Sun Ship
For The Fans Of: The Warlocks, The Blue Angel Lounge, Spacemen 3

Release date 28.10.2016
A Recordings

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