THE JIM JONES REVUE - The Jim Jones Revue (Punkrockblues)
Forget critical analysis, I am biased towards this CD, okay there you have it! Hear me out on this one, I'll make no bones about it, Jim Jones body of work has always remained a constant on my compact disc player. I love the guy's music. After all, the singer / songwriter has distilled classic influences (Stones, NY Dolls, Stooges/Pop, 60-70s funk/soul), in the process added his own palette of color and created a body of work that is exciting and rewarding.

In this day and age, not many groups or artists can lay claim to remaining this consistent in their output. So now, after four releases with the influential 90's group Thee Hypnotics and two with the exciting Black Moses, Jim Jones re-emerges with his new group. The Jim Jones self titled CD continues in the raunchy tradition of his prior efforts but also places an emphasis on the roots of his influences.

The first thing that strikes you with this self titled release is the beat up piano on the cover of the CD. The instrument is beat to shit, worn out and looks as though it's received a heavy workout in some dirt road juke joint. Judging from the high intensity of the playing of the Jim Jones Revue, the photo is very appropriate and fitting.

On the first track "Princess & the Frog", the band makes it very clear they mean business. Piano musician Elliot Mortimer introduces the song with bluesy, boogie woogie intro and hurls the band towards backwoods abandon. Jones, more manic in his vocal approach than ever before, spins a modern day version of the old fairy tale.

The second track "Hey Hey Hey Hey", a cover of Little Richard, maintains that wild eyed intensity of the Reverend Penniman, but also serves as a blueprint for the band's sound. Other tracks on the CD such as "Fish 2 Fry" and The Meat Man" are in the same vein: heavy swing songs based on excellent keyboard playing, amped up - bluesy guitars and a toe tapping rhythm section.

On a disc filled with so many gems, a few tracks encapsulate the sound of the band better than others. "512", with the timeless imagery of driving in you car ("down the ole I-35"), is chock full of bounce and energy, making it a infectious listening experience. Later on, the track "Make it Hot" starts off with a chunky guitar riff, followed by a heavy jazzy underpinning and display of volume. The song has a nice start - stop time signature.

A key element of this debut CD was to record the band live to four track. The decision to do so works because the band is caught in a fevered state which, as the next logical step, makes the listener want to hear the band in a live setting. Based on the band's live video you can't help but feel that way. Man, I would love to get a ticket for that gig. - Arthur S

 




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