February 18, 2010


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Brian Jonestown Massacre, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper
A Records, Feb. 23

If you’ve thus far refused to see the seminal indie-rock documentary Dig! yet, you may as well go full-on K-Mart fashion now. Everything that’s right and wrong with what you like to call “alternative rock” is there for your edification: Dandy Warhols were the (sort of) reluctant sellouts, Brian Jonestown Massacre (Anton Newcombe’s irretrievably screwed-up brain, in other words) was the unsung genius hampered by unearned-as-yet drug problems.

The short version, since I don’t have room nor time nor quixotic impulse to fix you, is that Newcombe is as important to anti-whatever music as Butthole Surfers or Jello Biafra. Unlike Biafra, Newcombe’s too effed-up to be political; unlike Gibby Haynes, his hate isn’t laser-guided, more a lucky drunken shotgun blast that hits every micro-mark. Your head will allow opening tune “Tempo 116.7,” a Trojan horse of ambient techno, ready entry, and then this thing becomes an assault on everything you know, as though Locust Abortion Technician had suddenly become a virus and infected Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, LCD Soundsystem, My Bloody Valentine and everything else you love. This fricking guy is trying to reboot hipness itself. A+Eric W. Saeger