The Upshot: Former Thee Hypnotics/Black Moses/Jim Jones Revue frontbeast strips things down to the brutal, firebreathing bone.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
When singer/guitarist Jim Jones brought his Revue to a close with 2012’s The Savage Heart, it seemed premature, especially as that album saw the former Thee Hypnotics/Black Moses frontbeast pushing his full-throttle rock & roll in different, often more sophisticated directions. Unsurprisingly, that record pointed the way to his future, which finally arrives in full-length form on Super Natural, the debut by his latest band the Righteous Mind. As Jones has evolved over the years, he’s added different strains of rock to his arsenal, from the high energy Detroit sounds of Thee Hypnotics and Moses to the Free nods at the end of the former’s career to the Little Richard/Jerry Lee Lewis mania of the Revue.
For the Righteous Mind, Jones is digging further into rock’s past, adding bluesier riffs and swampy grooves. “Something’s Gonna Get Its Hands On You” combines Bo Diddley and Tony Joe White licks in the verses before opening up into anthemic pop on the chorus. The pounding “Boil Yer Blood” takes the teethgnashing rockabilly of the Cramps and the Scientists, beats it within an inch of its life, then uses the Mind’s own brutal surgery to bring it back to its senses. “Aldecide” mashes up grinding riffs with roiling piano trills, while “Till It’s All Gone” brings another pop melody into the Mind’s roughhewn fold. The quintessential “Base is Loaded” keeps up a raging attack for over six minutes, never becoming numbing or tiresome.
“Shallow Grave” slows the pace for the closest thing to a ballad Jones has yet done, while the LP-closing “Everybody But Me” strips it down even further, as gentle electric guitar, pedal steel swells and jazzy piano set up a near ambient background over which Jones croons his love. It’s a startling but effective new path for Jones to explore, and he should do more of it. It’s a good sign that Jones is open to anything on Super Natural, and that he can easily enhance his usual firebreathing rock & roll passion without diluting it.
DOWNLOAD: “Base is Loaded,” “Aldecide,” “Everybody But Me”