Two. More. Hours.
Listed at #43 on NME’s list of the 50 Druggiest Albums Ever, this album is simply the tits. In 1995, Anton Newcombe droned on like a stoned party bore as he cooked up his own takes on the drone-heavy oeuvre of those other great substance-enjoyers: Jason Pierce (aka J. Spaceman) and Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine and a good dollop of Jesus & Mary Chain. This album is clearly the sum of these influences.
Even the album cover is very “shoegazer-esque” (think MBV’s ‘Loveless‘).
Thankfully BJM does a very solid job with them throughout the album’s course of over 70 minutes. ‘Ol Anton favors breathy, sighing vocals over post-Jagger drawls, understandably (‘Crushed‘ is as perfect an example of American Anglo singing as it gets), while the seven other rotating band members whip up a good amount of machine-like chugging and rave-up bliss as they go.
Part of the reason why it all works so well is Newcombe’s impressive abilities to actually perform rather than pose. ‘Wisdom‘, for instance, isn’t very complex, but it successfully creates a psychedelic haze. While assembled from a variety of different sessions and about seven different engineers, ‘Methodrone‘ feels like a unified collection. Newcombe (control freak that he is) is due further credit for ensuring that his own particular (if second-hand) vision is carried throughout.
The album closes on a spectacular high, with the wafting feedback prettiness of ‘Outback‘ followed by the majestic drone of ‘She’s Gone‘, armed with a stunning guitar line, then wrapping up with an untitled bonus track that assuredly builds to a strong end with quirky touches. Though the band never returned to this sound in full, Newcombe and BJM as a whole have nothing to be ashamed of here.
In fact, I thought that the ‘Give It Back‘ album was going to forever be my favorite of the BJM catalog but, what ya know…I stand corrected. This album just became that. It’s that freakin’ good!
Interestingly enough, Anton is reportedly on the wagon these days.
And meditating on it, too.
Good luck, buddy!