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Jungle Rot

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Album Review

George Brigman sounded like a man out of time on his rare mid-'70s debut, Jungle Rot (though it's not so rare anymore, having been reissued both legitimately and illegitimately on several labels). Unlike the oncoming punks and new wavers, he had an obvious affinity as a keeper of the flame of classic rock forms, most particularly the late-'60s/early-'70s blues-rock of British bands such as the Groundhogs. Yet if this was blues-rock, it was blues-rock the D.I.Y. way, recorded on his own with a mass of hazy distorted guitar lines. It was almost unself-consciously auteurish (and even a bit minimalist) in its presentation, his insistent and repetitive songs fired by belligerent lyrical scuzziness and sullen vocals that were don't-give-a-damn to the point of near-nonchalance. So it's a bit like hearing a punky, pared-down Groundhogs, that band's guitarist and focal point, T.S. McPhee, being one of Brigman's declared heroes. It's the kind of sound that fits the frequent collector description of this kind of music as "mind-melting acid fuzz" (or words to that effect) to a T, though it does get more monotonous over the length of an LP than the top blues-rockers do. Note, though, that despite what you might have read elsewhere, Brigman wasn't purely devoted to thickly fuzzed subdued rants. He also peeled off some nicely silvery and sliding riffs on occasion, sometimes summoning a fetching shy almost-croon for rather gentle reflective rolling bluesy numbers, particularly on the best song, "Schoolgirl." The 2005 CD on Bona Fide adds historical liner notes and three bonus cuts in a marginally less unconventional style that Brigman recorded slightly later with the band Hogwash.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

George Brigman was a real anomaly in the world of '70s rock -- a singer-guitarist whose sound was heavily influenced by British blues-rockers such as the Groundhogs and Cream, yet whose D.I.Y. production and distribution methods were more in line with the ethos soon to be popularized by punk and indie rock. His sound is too uncouth to be embraced by most of the fans of his biggest influences, yet is too indebted to the sounds of late-'60s and early-'70s hard rock to be embraced by punk and new wave...
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Jungle Rot, George Brigman
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