From The Vault: The Brian Jonestown Massacre – “Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request” (1996)
I think most people don’t get it. I love that they picked the name of one of the greatest albums of all time. But as I’ve said before, they pay omegas their hero’s. The lovely female vocals, the tunes, the stories, they have nothing to do with the Stones. And by the way, the Stones are not the greatest band in the world, THEY just said it so much that people believed it [the Stones haven’t put out a great album since Sticky Fingers]. George Harrison said it when he was on trial … “We pick up what we’ve learned from others, if it sounds like someone else’s music, that’s probably because I’ve built on it.”
Brian Jonestown will swirl around you and space you out. For me, it was as fresh and new as hearing Satanic Majesty for the first time. The array of instruments is outstanding and done with perfection in true psychedelic spirit. But as I’ve said before, grab the greatest hits, you’ll miss the filler.
BASICS: There is much to be considered when attempting to write or even speak about the music of The Brian Jonestown Massacre … and while the bulk of the material belongs to Anton Newcombe and Anton alone, it is the blending of the talent of the group that brings the songs their greatest strength, and sets them afire.
In saying that any Brian Jonestown Massacre album is brilliant, I would also have to say that any Brian Jonestown Massacre album is a total mess … a Ying Yang of sorts, if you will, for it is only in the balance that one can appreciate the beauty, as it is only in the disharmony, that one can feel the harmony … and on that note it takes the internal struggles and inherent aggravations within the band’s members, to bring out the unity we hear when the music of The Brian Jonestown Massacre comes together … and when it all does come together, there is nothing finer to the ears.
The music is rich and lush, it is psychedelic beyond description with subtle guitars that stand out and blend in like a magical light show … this will all bend your mind and ears with ever increasing pleasure. With Anton’s direction, the vocals and the instrumentation balance and bounce off of each other … then flow back together as one note, as one song, as one thought, in all of time.
It is my sincere opinion that this is how the mind of Anton Newcombe works. There is no doubt that he suffers from internal struggles and it is this outward manifestation of his internal demons that brings about his brilliance. It is difficult for individuals like Anton, to live in such a state of flux on a daily basis, but those of his nature are some of the few true geniuses that occasionally walk this planet.
Draw your breath with deep consideration … you are embarking on a journey that is no less than life altering. For those of us who have been privileged enough to have the light bulb of understanding flick on, we quickly turn it off, to bathe ourselves in the solitude of magnificent introspection.
– Jenell Kesler
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