The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?
For Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? Newcombe retreated to an Icelandic climate to create what might be the closest to BJM’s dance album. Like Psychic TV (whose singer, Genesis P-Orridge, raved about BJM in Dig!) Newcombe has gone from imitation ’60s psychedelic rock to psychedelic dance music, with uneven results. “Let’s Go Fucking Mental” is a waste, merely a repetitive drum-machine track with the title chanted over and over like the song was phoned in. But then “This Is The One Thing We Did Not Want To Happen” samples the drum track from Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” ingeniously, adding a mean guitar edge and a Newcombe vocal rant, as acerbic as ever. It’s an exercise in fascination, but also incredibly frustrating. As Jimi Hendrix said, manic depression’s a frustrating mess. (A Records)
Robert Pollard, We All Got Out of the Army
“Silk Rotor” starts the album with a velvet hand in an iron glove of power pop and sets the tone for another songwriterly solo effort post-GBV. Here Pollard veers from Beatlesque melodies to more Who-like anthems, moving from one to the next like an eccentric musical museum guide, either too brilliant or too scattered to keep up with at times, speeding “Faster To Babylon.” Amazingly, he seems to accumulate more energy as he goes on, and “On Top of the Vertigo” is so dizzying it feels like you are taking on air. (GBV Inc)