The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Brian Jonestown Massacre



by Raul Stanciu STAFF
March 17th, 2019 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tight LP to summarize the core of their output…

This is a fitting title for the band’s latest LP, as it embodies the core of their sound. No matter how far he ventures, Anton bases most of his songs on a trademark, twangy set of chords. By now, the front man could easily craft a standard Brian Jonestown Massacre tune in a minute, plus there is always at least one on each album that blows us away. Twisting and turning the same notes, the band never runs out of ideas. This latest trip maintains the more stripped vibe Something Else shared, but boasts a tad more energy and groove. Whereas its predecessor felt rather volatile at times, the self-titled record keeps things streamlined. Of course, one can observe multiple similarities between the two affairs, since they were conceived during the same period of time. However, due to the successful world tour undergone in 2018, Newcombe ultimately decided to delay this release.

Right from the beginning, ‘Drained’ kicks in much like ‘Hold That Thought’ did last year with a classic BJM rhythm. Like I mentioned above, I’ve heard this type of song 10 times before, yet I still want another one. ‘Remember Me This’ is the fun rocker the guys like to offer from time to time. Much like ‘Government Beard’ or ‘Vad Hände Med Them’, this fast paced barn burner is fun and catchy. Meanwhile, ‘Tombes Oubliées’ ('Forgotten Graves') merges that dreamy side of theirs with the current sound, while ‘Too Sad To Tell You’ adds some tasty Americana guitar leads over a similar atmosphere. Anton’s voice is a bit shaky at times, still, since sobering up, he significantly improved his delivery and tone. For the usual mid-tempo tunes, we received ‘Cannot Be Saved’ & ‘What Can I Say’, which share some smooth, deep bass lines alongside the usual wall of guitars. They flow gently as expected. It’s interesting, though, how punchy the drums are in the mix. Clearly driving the other instruments, there is this nice contrast audible even on the softer cuts such as ‘A Word or ‘We Never Had a Chance’. The two, folksy jams bring forth that laid back, hazy tone Brian Jonestown Massacre play so well. The blend of acoustic and electric guitars is pleasant to the ears and not overly produced. Thus, they somewhat have the qualities of a professionally mixed live recording. Every part is distinguishable and even stirs up emotion from Newcombe. ‘We Never Had a Chance’ reminisces ‘Devil May Care (Mom and Dad Don’t)’, which was quite an interesting surprise.

In the end, The Brian Jonestown Massacre isn’t among the band’s top 3, most accomplished efforts, however, it represents very well the gist of their sound. Moreover, it is one of their most consistent and cohesive LPs, offering something for most fans out there. Also, it can work really well as a starting point for the band’s vast catalog. I would like to hear Anton venturing into the unknown again, but I am happy he produces quality material in his comfort zone too.

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user ratings (22)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2019


Album Rating: 3.7

Great album, and slightly better than Something Else in my opinion.

Stream here:

March 18th 2019


I like this band and I really respect Newcombe's attitude towards music. I have interacted with him on Twitter, the guy is very down to earth no bullshit and cares about his music. This guy spent years micromanaging his band and running it. He has an interesting point of view and I like his theories about government and such.

Anyway going to relisten to the entire record. Only heard select songs. I find their last album very very underappreciated. It was a great album. I really love the song ''Hold That Thought'' from the last album 'Something Else'. It's a beautiful song. Everybody should go listen to it if you didn't hear that record or it slipped by you. Very pretty song.

Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2019


Album Rating: 3.7

Yeah, the light DIG put on Anton and BJM was misleading, pushing all the conflicts to the forefront. He's releasing new music constantly and the quality is high. I love 'Hold That Thought' and 'Drained' here is pretty much part 2 IMO. I think many people are missing out on the last 4 albums or so, but they are all great.

Around 2012 I commented on one of Anton's album demo posts on Youtube that the music was lazy or something like that. I am a big fan of Who Killed Sgt. Pepper or My Bloody Underground and at the time I thought it was a step back. I admit it was a stupid comment (sorry!). He got really pissed off about it and left a couple of mean replies. I deserved it haha and I am sorry for that. The man's really passionate when it comes to his output and some took advantage to stir him.

July 26th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

I've pretty much only just started listening to these guys (listening to a few of the early albums first), but I'm listening to this album right now and I'm really impressed with it, especially considering they've been together since 1990 and already made a million albums. This doesn't sound like something I'd expect to have been released in 2019 (and I mean that in a good way).

September 5th 2019



August 19th 2023


love these lads. free concert stream right now courtesy of ArteFrance youtube
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - La Route du Rock 2023

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