Fricke's Picks: The Jim Jones Revue, Nuclear Garage Rock - Rolling Stone
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Fricke’s Picks: The Jim Jones Revue, Nuclear Garage Rock

A lot of new garage rock and psychedelia, as good as they get, basically amount to pastiche a-go-go, patchwork excitement built from established precedent: a little Music Machine here, some ’67 Pretty Things there, a splash of Os Mutantes, all stretched for a “Dark Star” mile. The Jim Jones Revue work from an especially narrow and vicious palette. At New York’s Mercury Lounge in late July, singer-guitarist Jim Jones, lead guitarist Rupert Orton, pianist Elliot Mortimer, bassist Gavin Jay and drummer Nick Jones made a delightfully unhinged racket out of the white-blues firefight of the MC5 and the spasmodic pure-R&B tensions of the original Seventies lineup of Britain’s Dr. Feelgood, with Jones’ shredded bawling slathered with distortion, like Little Richard and the Sonics’ Gerry Roslie crammed down the same throat. The only remotely modern wrinkle was Jones’ passing front-man resemblance to Nick Cave. Even then, Jones, who was in the ’90s British psych-attack band Thee Hypnotics, acted more like a Gothic frontier sheriff looped on hooch, hosting a necktie party. The set list was all razor-studded bombs from the Revue’s 2008 debut, The Jim Jones Revue, and the recent comp Here to Save Your Soul: Singles Volume One (both on the band’s own label, Punk Rock Blues), including the blatant advertisement “The Meat Man,” a grinding “Cement Mixer,” a torrid cover of Elvis Presley’s 1959 single “Big Hunk o’ Love” and the foregone conclusion “Rock ‘N’ Roll Psychosis.” The records have everything the show did — noise, propulsion, raw-roots joy — except the pleasure of getting blasted first-hand.


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