I first heard of the Brian Jonestown Massacre while watching the rockumentary, "DiG!". Shortly after the release of "Welcome to the Monkey House," I became a pretty big fan of the Dandy Warhols (still am), so I was intrigued to learn of the friend/foe relationship of Dandys frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor and BJM mastermind Anton Newcombe. The rockumentary is a fascinating view and gives a lot of insight into the recording industry, but it also made me rather interested in the music of Anton Newcombe and the Brian Jonestown Massacre.
2008's "Tepid Peppermint Wonderland - A Retrospective" caught my eye, but the pricepoint was a little steep for a band from whom I'd only heard fractions of songs. My local library had nothing by the BJM for me to borrow, so I had to look around for a relatively cheap album in order to jump on board. Right around the holidays, the price of this compilation dropped to $4.99, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to give 'em a shot. I'm glad I bought the comp., but I'll admit it's not something I think I'll listen to all that often.
First of all, the audio quality on this compilation isn't the best. The first 9 or 10 songs sound as if they were recorded in an aquarium with equipment stored in an abandoned warehouse for 30 or 40 years--very muddy. It's not until "Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth" that the audio quality becomes clear. And, from that point on, this comp. gets really good. Unfortunately for me, while the Dandy Warhols clearly have their sound rooted in the fuzzy, spacy distortion of '60s pop and rock, the BJM can't seem to leave that sound behind.
This compilation, honestly, is not for those looking to get into the band. Like J. Dunivin said, "This compilation is cool but only if you have most of the BJM catalog and are looking for something unique & different." If only "Tepid Peppermint Wonderland - A Retrospective" wasn't so darn expensive....
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EDIT (July 31, 2013): Okay, so I may have lied when I said, "it's not something I think I'll listen to all that often." Since writing this initial review over a year ago, I've listened to this comp. probably a dozen times, and I like it more each time I listen to it. Originally, the only song I really dug was "Maleka," but other favorites have popped up since then: "She Made Me," "Evergreen," "Convertible," "Methodrone," "Anemone," "This Is Why You Love Me," "Lantern," "When Jokers Attack," "Prozac Vs Heroin," "Nailing Honey to the Bee," and "Thoughts of You." The truth is, these are songs that will grow on you more and more each time you listen to them. If at first you don't like them, try try again!