Michael Anthony First Take (Lone Guitar)
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion returns from an eight-year hiatus with 12 tracks exemplifying the inexorable spirit of the bluesy, punky rock and roll trio. The band is no stranger to noteworthy collaborations, but this album—mixed and produced by Spencer himself—is pure, unadulterated JSBX. Fantastically grimy opener “Black Mold” name-drops a host of influences, including Ornette Coleman, Magic Sam and Little Richard. Other standout tracks include aggressive, nostalgic anthem “Bag of Bones” and hole-in-the-wall psych rocker “Black Thoughts.” Buy it from the JSBX website (tinyurl.com/
Borne of mourning, the latest Dum Dum Girls EP showcases skillful songwriting and evolving musicianship, but its opening tracks, the mopish “Mine Tonight” and apathetically poppy “I Got Nothing,” left me lukewarm. Midway through, a cover of Strawberry Switchblade's “Trees and Flowers” raises the bar with soaring melody and lilting vocals. Jill Bryson and Rose McDowall's lyrics about fear and hating flowers, trees and towering buildings never sounded so good. “Lord Knows” is practically perfect and if “Season in Hell” is what the “end of daze” sounds like, I hereby embrace clarity. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)
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