The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Third World Pyramid


4.0
excellent

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
October 31st, 2016 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blending several eras into a 40-minute fun ride…

For a band that has faced several internal strifes and was multiple times on the verge of imploding, The Brian Jonestown Massacre aged very well. Anton Newcombe is going stronger than ever, keeping himself focused and willing to constantly refine his output. Even the line-up has been quite stable during the past decade. Unfortunately, Matt Hollywood was kicked out of the band last year for undisclosed reasons, but other than that, everyone is at their places. Moreover, 2016 was a busy year for them, as they toured heavily after the release of Mini Album Thingy Wingy. I didn’t expect a new LP so soon (I’m sure most people didn’t), nevertheless, I was really happy to dig in the moment it saw the light of day.

Third World Pyramid can be considered a direct sequel to the strong Revelation, fully embracing the campy, ‘60s psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll. Anton gradually drifted from droning acid rock and the electronic elements of Who Killed Sgt. Pepper" (an album I consider to be heavily underrated), pushing for a return to form. On its predecessor, he finally sounded relaxed enough to indulge into his desired direction, yet here we have it in its final form. Besides being one of the most digestible in their catalog, this LP slides smoothly all throughout. From the first spin, ‘Assignment Song’, the 9-minute centerpiece stands out. The layered guitars gently strum in unison, while the catchy vocals accompany them really nice. Tremolo leads and lush organs embellish the song, until halfway, when it starts to truly unfold. Waves of feedback and oscillators find their way in between the wall of strings creating a mesmerizing atmosphere. ‘Oh Bother’ continues this trend, boasting a laid back groove driven by a Latin-esque trumpet and simple keyboard touches. Meanwhile, ‘Don’t Get Lost’ and ‘The Sun Ship’ crave for that classic BJM sound. The lush, mid-tempo rhythms echo the likes of Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request, while fusing new sounds in the blend too. The former is a straightforward number that emphasizes Anton’s vocals, before leaving room for cool solos during the second half, whereas the latter lets the keyboards roll over twangy chords. The focused nature of the songs makes them really enjoyable, plus the often punctuating brass section adds a lot to the overall feeling.

Leaving aside the more spaced out numbers, we can also find a handful of uplifting cuts that work really well. ‘Government Beard’ mixes the more intense drumming found on Who Killed Sgt. Pepper" with jangly guitars, while ‘Like Describing Colors to a Blind Man on Acid’ rips a page out of the Give It Back! songbook. They are fun songs that need no further introduction. Then, there is the title track which might be the biggest surprise here. The post-punk beats and fast paced guitar leads reminisce early The Cure, however, Newcombe’s ethereal, reverbed vocals join in to instantly remind you this is still a Brian Jonestown Massacre record. The synthesizers considerably enhance the track, offering a lovely eerie vibe. Needless to say, repetition plays an important role to entrance you and make you dance.

In the end, Third World Pyramid is another rewarding listen for Brian Jonestown Massacre fans. It sums up various eras into a cohesive unit, but it also optimistically looks forward. Besides this, the shorter length augments its replay value, since it is easily enjoyable. Ten years ago, few would have bet the band would still be rocking today, let alone improving their work like this. Hopefully, they’ll keep the ball rolling for a long time.




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user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2016


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another strong album. They are faring a lot better than The Dandy Warhols who get lazier and lazier with each LP.



Stream the album here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-fC4hMmPMg

Tyler.
October 31st 2016


13719 Comments


Awesome

Tyler.
October 31st 2016


13719 Comments


Good review

Dewinged
October 31st 2016


6373 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Didn't know they had a new album coming. Thanks for the stream, gotta check this out!

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Tower

Voltimand
October 31st 2016


703 Comments


That album art makes me think this is a new 3 record.

Digging: Wide Eyes - Sa?s?ra

Dewinged
October 31st 2016


6373 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Might change the rating after some listens. Album sounds like you would expect from TBJM, a little bit aggressive on the trebles for my taste, and few songs stood out, more like some riffs and melodies here and there but nothing memorable so far.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2016


13290 Comments


"For a band that has faced several internal strives"

think you mean strifes

Digging: Slowdive - Pygmalion

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2016


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for mentioning, I changed it.

vonseux
November 1st 2016


265 Comments


I guess I'll give it a try

TheSpaceMan
November 2nd 2016


9537 Comments


oh sick review 'som, I've been meaning to check these guys out so might as well start here

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2016


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a good starting point if you haven't listened to BJM before, however, their mid-90s LPs are the best. And This is Our Music, Aufheben or Revelation are really good too.



If you want acid rock and weird stuff listen to My Bloody Underground or Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?

TheSpaceMan
November 2nd 2016


9537 Comments


nice appreciate the heads up, do you have a favorite?

zakalwe
November 2nd 2016


23350 Comments


Saw these around 10yrs ago. Definitely walked it like they talked it.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2016


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Methodrone and Give It Back! are my favorites. The former is shoegaze, while the latter is more '60s revival. Also, My Bloody Underground is really cool because it's so fucked up (most people hate it).

demigod!
November 5th 2016


49231 Comments


great band gotta check

and yeah methadrone rules

TSWisla
March 1st 2017


1 Comments


Anton Newcombe is amazing. He is extremely focused. He continues to churn out amazing music because of this. He never wanted fame and never wanted to be rich and that is why he can continue to make music with such great success after so many years. When I listen to him speak, he is completely disconnected from motivation for fame and wealth. I get the impression that he was born only to make music and that there is really nothing else that he can successfully do. Truly an amazing human being.



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