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...And This Is Our Music

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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Album Review

It's futile to try to attempt to describe a Brian Jonestown Massacre album. One doesn't so much listen to their music as experience it, entering into their strange, warped world to wallow in the aural vistas they create. Like a '60s 'happening', it's not what actually occurs that matters, it's the experience itself, the fact of one being part of something greater than one's self, and so it is here with And This Is Our Music. "Keep dreaming, keep dreaming, until it's time to go," BJM sing on "Geezers," and the music builds, swelling into a mighty conflagration of sound that stutters out and into the acoustical love song of "Maryanne," which winds its way into the Star Trek-esque epic romance of "You Look Great When I'm F****d Up," that comes down with a bang into the psychedelic jangle of "Here It Comes," then falls headlong into the wild tattoo of the beats and salsa sounds of "What Did You Say?" and so on, careening across 17 tracks in all.

Musical themes are occasionally revisited, moods coalesce then transmute, a myriad of musical influences emerge, disappear, return, transform. "Can we ever really know where we're going, where we're heading?" the band inquire on "A New Low in Getting High," and with BJM as your guide, the answer is a resounding no. But that is the glory of the band: one never knows where one is, or where one will end up, left lost in their psychedelic haze, pulled into a twangy country and western world, or dropped into another of their endless, timeless ambient soundscapes. It's the musical equivalent of a carnival fun house, one never knows what one will find upon opening the door. Psychedelic they may be branded, but that is only the beginning, there's so much more to be heard and experienced within. No longer so young, but still so brave and totally right on. And This Is Our Music is music for each and every one of us.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Named in tribute to the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist and his influence in introducing Eastern culture and music into the world of Western rock & roll, the Brian Jonestown Massacre formed in San Francisco, California in 1990. Some 40 different members passed through the group's ranks over the next half-decade, but the focal point always remained singer/guitarist Anton Newcombe, who, along with bassist Matt Hollywood, guitarist Dean Taylor, organist Mara Regal, accordionist Dawn Thomas, drummer...
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