Jim Jones Revue – The Jim Jones Revue

January 01, 1970

(Punk Rock Blues)




Putting the “puh
back into “punk” and the “raw” back
into “rawk” is Monsieur Jim Jones, a reprobate par excellence who proved his
mettle ages ago with the late, great Thee Hypnotics. Anyone who experienced
those Stooges/MC5-worshiping Brits during their early ‘90s heyday – in the U.S.
they released records on both Sub Pop and Beggars Banquet – knows what a
footstomping wildman Jones could be. His subsequent stint fronting the
hard-rocking, R&B-tinged Black Moses was no less energized, although
compared to the notoriously drug- and booze-fueled Hypnotics, the latter trio
operated in relatively under-the-radar fashion.


More recently, though, the singer resurfaced with the Jim
Jones Revue, a quintet that incorporates elements of Jones’ prior outfits but
distills things down to the most primal basics and inhabits a parallel a
universe where Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis never got old but rather just
kept at it until the New York Dolls and the Ramones came along to join the
party. The front sleeve of The Jim Jones
in fact, depicts an upright piano that looks like it’s either been
through a hurricane and flood or suffered extended abuse at the hands of both Mr. Penniman and The Killer. The
sonic damage inflicted by the actual tunes isn’t too far removed from that notion,
either. Point of fact, after kicking things off with the ivories-pounding,
“Good Golly Miss Molly”-worshiping  whomp of “Princess & The Frog,” the
band catapults full tilt into a positively crazed version Little Richard’s “Hey
Hey Hey Hey,” effortlessly collapsing the distance between London and Macon,
Ga., in just 2:02. So much for cultural appropriation; these boys know their
fish from their chips.


From there it’s a rock ‘n’ roll travelogue that you just
ain’t gonna get from any of the indie-rock grovelers currently enjoying
blog-buzz status. “Rock n Roll Psychosis” is a synapse-poppin’ riot of manic
piano and distorto-guitar sizzle, with Jones barking and shrieking like Iggy
commanding a full legion of the grandchildren of the damn – “we don’t monkey around!” he gurgles at
one point, and you goddam sure believe
. The Revue subsequently exhumes the fetid, twitching hips of Elvis
(“Fish 2 Fry,” which revs up “Baby, Let’s Play House” until things achieve
takeoff, Sonic Youth style); figures out yet an altogether new way to walk the
friggin’ dog (“Another Daze,” coming to a New Orleans-centric film soon if
there’s any justice… Treme camp, are
ya listening?); and serves up the most twisted brand of R&B this side of
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (“Cement Mixer,” which is as heavy and dense as the title
telegraphs and, with its stripper-grind rhythm, chain-gang chorus and
altogether filthy vibe, will leave you needing to take a shower after is spins.
(You’re in luck: it’s the last cut.)


The Jim Jones Revue was actually cut a couple of years ago and has been available in England for a
good while; in 2009 a mini-album, the aptly-titled Here To Save Your Soul, was released containing a couple of album
cuts plus the band’s subsequent singles (see our review here). Meanwhile the
band has also completed a new record, produced by Jim Sclavunos of Bad
Seeds/Grinderman fame and will have that in the bins before the year is out, so
nobody involved is planning on wasting any time getting’ on with the gettin’


As the saying goes, get behind the Revue before the Revue
gets past YOU. Amen.


DOWNLOAD: “Cement Mixer,” “Rock n Roll Psychosis,” “Fish 2 Fry” FRED MILLS


The Jim Jones Revue plays
NYC, Hoboken and Brooklyn
this week, July 22-24. Details, song samples and more at the band’s MySpace page.


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