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Jesus Sons - Better Times (2014) review

Jesus Sons "Better Times " (7” on Mock Records, 2014)

Following on the heels of their multi-repressed self-titled album for Mock Records Jesus Sons are back with another dose of their patented swampy, country twinged, Americana psych rock in the form of the one-two 7-inch punch, Better Times again for Mock Records.  The A-side “Better Times” is ridiculously catchy from the minute it gets rolling.  That slight country vibe I was talking about creeps in and out of the song, snaking like the slinking slide guitar work through out.  And while it definitely has its feet planted in that proto-Americana meets garage rock sound there’s some other stuff going on here.  It sounds like any number of foot-stompers from San Fran bands in the late 60s and early 70s, Country Joe And The Fish anyone?  “Better Times” is actually a great description of the music on the single itself, while their self-titled debut album is seriously killer, if this is any indication of the quality of the output that Jesus Sons is going to be presenting in the future I am beyond stoked!  The unhinged lead slide break in the middle of “Better Times” is just perfect, it’s everything and nothing all at once; garage, country, psych and rock, defying logic or definition.  The B-side “This Ain’t Livin’” starts off with some dissonant harmonica, channeling a Bob Dylan-just-plugged-in-with-The Band vibe, hard.  The vocals are almost a soft snarl, dribbling and spilling all over the place like the liquor induced behavior that they describe.  The organ on “This Ain’t Livin’” is the thing that put me over the top, there’s a nasty guitar break in the middle of the song, jangling and sparkling over the top of a perfectly sleazy garage rock melody, but it’s the hum and buzz of the organ that keeps me coming back.  While many bands are attempting to channel that 60s vibe, they sound like they’re trying too hard and it’s difficult not to laugh at the attempts sometimes, recycled garbage that it is.  Jesus Sons are way beyond that though.  I’m not even convinced they want to sound like they dropped out of Tom Bakers TARDIS straight from the swinging 60s, it just kind of happened to work out that way; and that’s really the only way it works.  If you own the LP and are wondering whether to pick this up, stop thinking and cop this today. If you’re looking for a good way to get into the band, this is a perfect way to do it.  You get one side of the rockier, more dead-ahead biker stuff, and then one side of music transported straight from Woodstock via the twisted antiquity that is Jesus Sons’ time machine minds.  Rest assured It’s certainly certified Psychedelic Baby!

Review made by Roman Rathert/2015
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