Their Majesties Second Request Import
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Double 180gm vinyl LP pressing. Sophomore album from 1996 does, as promised, spring forth from the Rolling Stones' long-underrated 1967 masterpiece Their Satanic Majesties Request, copping not only Mick and Keith's leering bad-boy attitude but also their their rock-and-roll-circus spirit.
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I always thought the Stones' '68 "Satanic Majesties" was an underrated classic. Totally unlike anything they'd done before or since. Verry trippy vibe, very cool. Eastern mysticism, Baba Ram Dass, BE HERE NOW, oneness, nowness, the Great Sea of Existence. Yeah, baby. And here's a rock band, in 1995 (just a few years after "Nevermind", during the height of the grunge-rock craze) shooting at the same target the Stones went after in '68.
This CD makes the Stones' prior effort seem a bit hit and miss. Anyone looking for a sweet, low-key, psychedelic mind-ride need go no further. And - no - this one is not all sitars, jamborines, world-beat sounding happy-sappy saffron robe balding hippy-pap (see Peter Gabriel). The liner notes make it clear that the band played, among other instruments ... "wolf horn, maraccas, weird chinese s**t, tyco drums, vibes, piano, woodwinds and other top secret crap." In other words, these guys were not into themselves making "genre" music, just into the music.
Evocative, inspirational, no-holds-barred, very Stonesy. By the second guitar chorus on track 14 ('cause, i lover'), I was there, really THERE (if you know what I mean). Let's just say that when words fail, this music brings you home.
This one rocks. With a dose of menace. And with a purpose. Let it into your head, groove-meisters.
Even though this came out in '96, the fact that I listen to it more now than I ever did speaks to the enduring and timeless quality of Anton A. Newcombe's songwriting. Or, that I am possibly stuck in some sort of psychedelic rut... even so, it's a blissful place indeed.
I'm constantly impressed by the complex rhythms and instrumentation. All the songs on this album flow in and out of each other beautifully, some tracks tinged with sitars and maracas right next to tracks with jangling guitars (listen and you can hear all three in addition to the bass...)tamborine and driving beats. But I'm not a music critic. I just know it sounds great and it makes me feel fantastic.
At the moment, my favorite track is "Cold to the Touch"; absolutely sexy and cool. But just a couple months ago it was "Miss June 1975". Still one of my favorite and gorgeous love songs, it slowly unfolds into a delightfully yummy ode to, well, making a woman happy. AWESOME. "No Come Down", "Jesus" & "Anenome" are all super, too.
I love that BJM has a song for my every mood, and every occasion. And I love that I'll be listening to the album for years to come. Hope you enjoy it, too.
Also, consider that I purchased it THIS MORNING, brand new, at my local independent record store for $13.
Don't get scammed by people with e-bay fever.
Okay, let's talk about the album.
Despite a few sonic flaws (that could even be seen as adding to the overall package -- read on), TSMSR is a pretty well-realized paean to the salad days of the late sixties: Byrds- and Stones-influenced slow-spinning songs mingle with no small amount of sitar. Even the physical layout and photos seem plucked from a time capsule.
The 60's "era" is approached with humor and grace, and not treated like some kind of unassailable religious event as some revivalist bands are wont to do. There is a healthy dose of hedonism here too -- no morality plays to soothe the cultural right wing. Instead, BJM gives them the finger.
This isn't a genre exercise though. As well as these songs might blend into that time period, it just as effortlessly references the stylistic range of His Name Is Alive or the jangle of XTC. What's being displayed is a genuine affection for the instrumentation and recording techniques of the 60's. The attitudes and morals are coming from a decidedly more modern space, informed by the failures of the 60's as well as the successes. And the songwriting is sharp, clever, and catchy.
So things are a little murky, and there are tape flaws that come through at lower volumes. Really, a pristine digital recording would be an affront to the smoke-ringed, liquid-light atmosphere this little gem serves up.
Now go to your local independent music store and comb through their bins. Enjoy!
If you like the late 60's era at all, buy this album. BJM is one of the few bands still exploring this kind of sound, and thankfully so. I really don't listen to too many modern bands anymore, but they are the exception. Check out there extensive collection, it will keep you busy for months.