The Brian Jonestown Massacre are a main stay within psychedelic circles, and the release of Don’t Get Lost on 24th February 2017 comes a mere four months after Third World Pyramid. The double LP released on yellow vinyl was recorded and produced at Anton’s new Cobra Studio, Berlin and is the 16th full length release from the outfit.
BJM are known for their fluctuating line up, Don’t Get Lost was recorded by band members Anton Newcombe, Ricky Maymi, Dan Allaire, Collin Hegna and Ryan Van Kreidt. Emil Nikolaisen and Pete Fraser are also represented musically, with guest vocals from Tim Burgess, Tess Parks, Shaun Rivers and Freiderike Binert.
Anton Newcombe has been a very busy man these past 3 years, beginning in May 2014 whith the release of critically acclaimed BJM album Revelation. After a successful UK and European tour, +- EP was released in November 2014. Musique de Film Imagine came in April 2015; an imaginary film soundtrack album featuring the track ‘Bonbon’ which has, ironically, been used in ‘Dheepan’; the Palme D’or winner at Cannes film festival 2015.
In June 2015, Anton embarked on a tour of the UK and Europe with Tess Parks to support the release of I Declare Nothing. The year was seen out with BJM mini-album release, Mini-Album Thingy Wingy. 2016 saw the release of Third World Pyramid and Don’t Get Lost is the next in line.
The 14 track offering opens with ‘Open Minds Now Close’, a lively number with pulsating melodies, bouncing beats and a marked intent with thought evoking lyrics. ‘Melody’s Actual Echo Chamber’ is an experimental number in comparison with spoken colours. ‘Resist Much Obey Little’ is a return to the better recognised BJM sound with fantastic looped guitar rhythms and dual vocal harmonies. ‘Charmed I’m Sure’ is a moody organ based number which serves as an intriguing interlude and expresses a different side musically.
‘Groove is in the Heart’ is probably the strongest track on the album, with a catch countenance and the vocal play between Anton and Tess Parks works beautifully to create a feel good track with enough darkness present to interest all. In contrast, ‘One Slow Breath’ is another spoken word track with a prevailing melody that plays against a noise background. ‘Throbbing Gristle’ is loud and heavy and another stand out track with its fast tempo, persistent rhythm section and vibrant lyrics from Tess once again. ‘Fact 67’ is the lead track from the album with the vocals of Tim Burgess acting as an alternative, and the dance beat which resonates cannot fail to please.
‘Dropping Bombs on the Sun’ holds lots of resemblance to the sounds of Revelation, particularly in the choice of tone. Tess’s voice haunts once more. ‘UFO Paycheck’ is another downbeat instrumental, focusing heavily on rhythm and lingering notes. ‘Geldenes Herz Menz’ is something completely different, almost a piece of jazz really, with a saxophone melody reigning supreme. ‘Acid 2 Me is no Worse Than War’ is a trip back to the acid-house Haçienda days in all their glory. ‘Nothing New to Trash Like You’ is back to psychedelia with a guitar riff so catchy it stays in your head for days. ‘Ich Bin Klang’ with its German lyrics and oscillating organ is chosen to close.
Whilst no-one can dispute that BJM are the kings of what they do, there is quite possibly a little too much variety in this album which detracts from the genius of what they have on a record. This album is a great listen, but the conflicting styles do leave you a little aurally confused. But then, maybe that is the point.