Hard-grooving punk-hop veterans the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are returning with their 10th studio album, Freedom Tower: No Wave Dance Party 2015. Their second LP after ending an eight-year hiatus, it’s not exactly as noisily skronktastic as the “no wave” in the title implies, but it does have some of the experimental twists of classic JSBX albums like 1994’s Orange and 1998’s Acme: electronic glitches skip, hi-hats plink harshly, vocals are distorted and echoed, and explosions explode.
Recorded at the Daptone House of Soul and mixed by former Dälek producer Alap Momin, the album is riddled with New York imagery — subways, taxis, the NYPD, Bellvue, CBGB’s, the lyrics to “Rapper’s Delight” and, of course, its title.
“One morning it kind of hit me: I don’t even think they use the term ‘Freedom Tower’ anymore,” Spencer tells Rolling Stone. “They’ve kind of backed away from it. But that seemed a very apt title for this record and what it’s about. I mean who would have thought there’d be a hole in the ground, for how many years was it? That it took them that long, it’s just shameful.
“I lived in New York City for 29 years or something, I’ve lived here most of my life — and I still don’t really feel like ‘a New Yorker,’ but at this point, fuck it,” Spencer adds. “I’m gonna claim something.”
Freedom Tower: No Wave Dance Party 2015, is due via Mom + Pop Records on March 24th, but you can hear the entire thing below.