A new love this time, not an old flame, Jim Jones Revue Burning Your House Down. I bought this album on CD to keep me company on a journey down to see my parents one night in late 2010 – I was going to drive down to see them for a weekend by myself after work and I wanted to cheer myself up and keep alert so I ventured a bit of the old hard-earned on this lot after I saw them play one song shambolically on TV. The journey was grim, 4 hours worth of Biblical style wind and rain on small country roads but I emerged at the other end, grinning from ear to tired ear, a true believer. I only picked up the vinyl in October last year but it was worth it.
Now Jim Jones had form, I knew him from Thee Hypnotics who I’d seen a few times over the years – once thrillingly with Rat Scabies from the Damned on drums in 1990. I knew him to be a fabulous yet reliable purveyor of top quality riffage, featuring only the finest bespoke antique stylings. The Jim Jones Revue are an absolutely thrilling, far louder, hot-rodded revisitation of all the finest bits of Jerry Lee Lewis, twinned with a more rocked up Bad Seeds. Like most of my favourite bands they look sharp and play sharper still, like a dissolute thuggish troop of vampires.
I mean, check out the titles: Elemental, Killin’ Spree, Foghorn, Dishonest John, Shoot First – need I go on? we’re dealing in pure anti-social energy here. The key to the whole LP is the piano of Elliott Mortimer, which elevates them stratospherically above any number of retro garage-blues-RNR bangers you care to mention, it is a thing of rare beauty and anyone doubting the piano’s classification as a percussion instrument need look no further. Add in Mr Jones’ mostly unhinged delivery and the sort of unpleasant things being done to guitars which would make Eric Clapton weep throughout and you have a real cocktail of fun, very ably produced by Jim Sclavunos of the aforementioned Bad Seeds. This would not be music to look at the wrong way in a bar, you’d just wake up without your teeth.
I listen to this LP a lot, an awful lot. Today’s favourites are the screamingly good ‘High Horse’ (good video too) which always makes me want to slash the train seats on my commute, the twisted full-on soul-revue stylings of ‘Righteous Wrong’, the strutting title track and the raw nerved boogie of ‘Stop the People’; but for my money it’s all good . There are some interesting slyly arty corners here but don’t come knocking on this LP’s door for sonic originality, but if you have ever loved rock and roll, and by that I mean the real full-blooded 1956-9 unsanitary version you should like this. However if that particular vintage doesn’t flow through your veins then this LP doesn’t want you as a friend and tonight at least, neither do I.
(all pictures stolen from the web)