The Brian Jonestown Massacre pulled Orlando down the rabbit hole

click to enlarge The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Head, The Social, May 3

Brian Jonestown Massacre principal Anton Newcombe has always been one of those artists who exists outside of time. Trend? Please. The man obeys no context other than the inner machinations of his tireless, cryptic mind, which is forever on a vision quest out in the wilds of psychedelia. But between the group’s breathlessly prolific output and shapeshifting muse, it’s too much to keep up with for everyone but their die-hard cult. It has, however, all added up to one simple sum: that the Brian Jonestown Massacre are one of psych-rock’s most defining flagship bands of their generation.
click to enlarge The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social
click to enlarge The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social
Over the past two decades, their acid trail has covered some considerable ground for a trad-minded psych band, spanning rock, pop, folk, noise, electronic and even film score. But their recent show kept it on the classic frequency that built their legacy. It was a carpet ride of organs, tambourines, worming bass lines and burning guitars, all delivered perfectly from deep in the pocket.
click to enlarge The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social
click to enlarge The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Social
The waves and swirls of their signature sound were rendered with depth, mastery and thick atmosphere, exactly like a band that’s held dominion over their craft for a lifetime. Hearing them in 2018, the Brian Jonestown Massacre are the logical continuation of the original psychedelic rock essence of the ‘60s, expanded just enough to carry the traditional torch into modernity.
click to enlarge The Head at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Head at the Social
Atlanta opener the Head are already straight enough arrows on their own. But juxtaposed with Newcombe’s crew, they were doomed to be total squares.
click to enlarge The Head at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Head at the Social
More decent than stirring, their sunny, wide-winged rock is on the glossy side of alternative with some arena dreams. And their emoting plays more like a slick exercise than actual feeling. But they were fine in an anodyne kind of way, like a competently baked loaf of white bread.
click to enlarge The Head at the Social - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
The Head at the Social
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: [email protected]


About The Author

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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