The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Revelation
Release Date: 19th May 2014
The Brian Jonestown Massacre is a band name hard to hide from for those who like to root around the internet for shoegaze and noise rock music. Viewing the comments on YouTube for, say… a Spacemen 3 video would most likely have someone dropping the name like it’s his personal duty to spread the word of BJM. Read an article on My Bloody Valentine and one guy is there in the comments preaching BJM. Maybe it’s the same guy. On the other hand, checking any BJM reviews and you’ll find average to negative write-ups, calling the leader of the group, Anton Alfred Newcombe, out as a rip-off merchant, taking popular genres and adding nothing new to the scene. There is a conflict, and the only way to determine who’s right and who’s wrong is to experience BJM for oneself.
The latest album, Revelations, is certainly not much like the bands BJM is often compared to. The sound of Revelations is soft and calm, dipping into different musical genres to provide an eclectic album with no real core. Tracks tend to lean towards soft rock, but there is also a Medieval sounding instrumental (Second Sighting) tucked in with some 60’s psychedelia and melancholy pop. A real grab bag, but despite what genre it dips into, the relaxed mellow tone keeps throughout. It seems the YouTube comments posted on shoegaze videos only relate to the BJM of old.
Each track is well polished, but the heart is missing. No track stirs up feelings from within, no joy, no anger, no sadness. It pleasantly plays in the background, taking from what’s currently popular with a few trappings from the past, failing to make the sound its own. Perhaps the band were a wilder entity in the past, but this latest release feels safe, unoriginal, but not necessarily time wasted. Maybe one to kick back to after a rough day at work. It won’t make any demands of you, it won’t love you, it won’t feed you. It will just be there, providing a soothing break from an unbearable silence, giving you everything you like, without the attachment.