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The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Dirty Shirt Rock n’ Roll: The First Ten Years – album review

Stephen Coole - Monday 22.03.10, 21:17pm


Dirty Shirt Rock n’ Roll: The First Ten Years by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion will be released on 24 May on Shove Records. The first seven albums to be reissued throughout 2010.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

In 1990 the blues exploded. Already high on a cocktail of overloaded frequencies, Jon Spencer and his cohorts took the full force. The shards pierced so deep that when the trio finally came to, they exhaled with enough energy and charisma to send the clichés flying. They had become The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Dirty Shirt Rock n’ Roll: The First Ten Years charts the fallout from that first incendiary incident, right up to the band’s 2002 long player Plastic Fang. For those who missed Jon Spencer’s chaotic pyrotechnics first time around, this compilation is a fantastic, brain-melting introduction.

References to the past are never far from the surface, including blues, rock n’ roll, late sixties garage, punk and the sleazy psychedelia of Parliament’s Funkadelic. However, when The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion sold their souls at the crossroad, they must have ripped off the dark prince’s head and ingested the power at source.

At their rawest the band rip into standard progressions with a primordial roar, stretching guitars to their screaming limit. However, it’s not all neck-breaking distortions of the past. Bellbottom funks with a scuzzy slouch of a riff that absconds with the Rotary Connection’s string section before retiring to a lust-lathered Bedouin tent. And Love Ain’t on the Run takes a twin-eyed peek below the surface and unhinges a sun-starved bar, where the ghost of Laura Palmer still struts a strobe-lit groove.

Shards of the past may be lodged deep within the band’s psyche but their songs are visceral, amplified assaults that drag notions of hackneyed rehashes kicking and screaming into the future. Along the way they’ve enlisted the help of contemporary adventurers including Beck, Mike D, UNKLE and Little Barrie. The result is a barrage of electrifying, unadulterated sonic explosions that shock the mind and light up the body.

Dirty Shirt Rock n’ Roll: The First Ten Years is followed by reissues of the band’s first seven albums later in the year, complete with rare and unreleased bonus tracks, copious liner notes and eye-popping photos.

Now I Got Worry and Controversial Negro – out in late June.
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (First Year) and Extra Width + Mo Width – out in late August.
Orange + Remixes (2-disc) and Acme + Xtra Acme (2-disc) – out in late October.

Visit The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion website for more information and live dates.

Read Matador Record’s notes on The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Watch the great promo video for Wail from the band’s 1996 album Now I Got Worry. Digg Technorati Blinklist Furl Reddit
Comments (1)

Tags: Album · Alternative · Blues · Review · Rock · Rock n Roll

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1 comment so far

  • 1 chissy n // Mar 29, 2010 at 5:34 am

    really liking it! i saw this reviewed on pitchfork and had to check it out

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