Review Summary: A stroll down memory lane with The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Anton is sober for four years now and it shows. His late '00s forays into droning psychedelia have ended up as the acid soaked My Bloody Underground
and Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?
, two efforts that are definitely the most divisive in the band's catalog so far. He finally got clean after at least two decades of inner battles and as a result, all subsequent efforts moved away from the crazy, alcohol and drug-induced trips. For the latest material, created with the help of current collaborators (which include founding members Matt Hollywood and lately, Ricky Maymi, among others) a more polished approach has been given to the same old 60s pastiche with Eastern flavors. Even though there aren't any radical changes as the aforementioned records were, Revelation
pieces together a larger variety of songs. All aim in different directions and much like Newcombe put it, he "liked each track on its own, but could not see how they all flowed together...''
Whereas this LP isn't as disjointed as the man thinks, it offers a broad selection of instantly recognizable BJM tunes that flow together more like a compilation than a single unit. There are songs that remind of Aufheben
, such as the fast-paced opener, 'Vad Hände Med Dem?' that features Joachim Alhund of Les Big Byrds on vocals. It's a really cool cut which provides a great transition from the respective record to where the current journey is headed for. Also, the campfire ditty 'Nightbird' and especially the instrumental 'Second Sighting' add to the pastoral sound Anton has been pursuing lately. The gentle guitar strumming and flutes create a soothing atmosphere where the band sounds more peaceful than ever.
Other tracks reminisce the hazy sound of the classic Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request
. The trance inducing 'Memory Camp' along with 'Days, Weeks & Moths' and 'What You Isn't' offer some muzzy grooves that fans have been dying to hear since forever. Also, the straightforward rock 'n' roll found on 'Food For Clouds', 'Xibalba' and 'Goodbye (Butterfly)' echo Take It From The Man!
as well as Give It Back!
at times. They are great additions that show just how diverse these guys have been throughout the years and taking the best of each era surely makes for a very rewarding listen. Moreover, Anton's voice sounds healthier too. He has always used that wasted croon, however, it has more presence and is less shaky now, thus adding some actual boost to the tunes.
Even though it might not rank as essential Brian Jonestown Massacre, Revelation
is a lovely experience. It doesn't offer plenty new stuff yet Anton found another way to craft those overused chords with various sonic ornaments into a beautiful, brand new piece of work. This album also shares a certain comfortable, relaxed feel to it as a result of being recorded in his own studio in Berlin. Newcombe always needed his own space and time frame to unfold his genius and it seems this time even went on to elaborate the songs more than sticking only to droning patterns. So, this is one of their best records for casual listeners to sink in, moreover, one where fans of each era will find at least a couple of tunes to put on repeat. Dig it.