I’ve recently been convalescing, put out to rest in the AOR Aural Nursing Home, draped in warm blankets of harmony and bathed in the gentle whirlpools of vocal standards. Whilst I have occasionally escaped with slippers left under the bed - kicking out in rock’s retro boots or levitating in phsychedelia’s sandals - it has mainly been a few days of staying put with feet-up reclining and relaxation.
This afternoon I have shunned jumpers and gloves for the torn jeans and ripped T-shirt of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, spurning Sunday’s carvery roast for the basic fare of Meat + Bone, taking instruction from fourth track Get Your Pants Off. After an eight year absence in their own version of taking a break, the Explosion return with this classic noise and distortion blues that has become their familiar fast and furious sound.
The first track Black Mold plays in the punk park John Lydon once trashed, and second Bag Of Bones is a stomping barroom dirtblues with ghosting harmonica and crashing bass and drums. That noise of pumping bass and snarling drum gets a great work-out in the sweaty gym of Ice Cream Killer, a cool fifth track in a hot place. This album is a tantalising tight space packed with even tighter accommodations of the Jon Spencer trademark echoing vocal, caustic lyrics and over-amplified playing.
Matron! Oh matron! I think I need another injection....