Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Select: Acme Plus [Review] (PRESS, UK)

October 1999 Select 10/99
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Select: Acme Plus [Review] (PRESS, UK)
Review of Acme Plus by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
“The John Spencer Blues Explosion

*This 19-track round-up of remixes and alternate takes is a companion volume to last year’s ‘Acme’ album. Features guest appearances from Mike D, Luscious Jackson’s Jill Cunniff and R&B Veteran Andre Williams.

As was revealed in Select’s recent feature on B-sides (July) those with relentless quality control end up victims of their own success. Bonus tracks for singles can turn out as minor classics and victims of the timeless pub observation, “should have been on the album”. The Blues Explosion’s ‘Acme Plus’, it seems, is a shrewd reply to the ‘waste not’ complainers.

This selection of unreleased tracks and remixes is The Blues Explosion on continued, electrifying form. Once again it features the odd twinning of original Steve Albini production put through the studio blender by the likes of Moby and David Holmes. Maximum garage blues still prefigures – check out the gnarled guitars of ‘Confused’ and ‘Chowder’ – but it’s studio efficiency that paints it brighter and wider. ‘Wait A Minute’ goes Theremin funky, while ‘Bacon’ successfully harnesses Philly strings to the Explosions’ familiar box-drum rumble, More often, though, the transformation is subliminal. Superior to ‘Acme’ MKI, this goes way beyond a ‘Masterplan’-style schedule filler. ****

– Neil Davenport”