The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Interview / Maxim / Madamoiselle : Acme [Reviews] (PRESS, US)

November 1998

These articles originally appeared in Interview, Maxim and Madamoiselle but was later included in a press release sent out by Matador Records to promote The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion release Acme. Also sent out with several other photocopied articles/reviews and a 10″ x 8″ black and white band photograph.
“Interview: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Acme (Matador)

Don’t be fooled by their name: “I don’t play no blues – I play rock and roll,” Jon Spencer clarifies once and for all on his crack power trio’s fifth and best album. The truth never sounded so good., especially if your idea of rock ‘n’ roll is howling funkhop (“Lovin’ Machine”), trippy ’60s psych-out (“Magical Colors”), or blistering techno-punk meltdown (“Attack”). Every Blues Explosion release ain’t nothin’ but a party, but Acme shows new songwriting depth. And with help from alt rock producer Steve Albini and members of Luscious Jackson, Atari Teenage Riot, and Dr. Octagon, this is their most banging effort yet.

Matt Diehl

Maxim: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Acme (Matador)

Finally, Jon Spencer really detonates. Two minutes after he named his band Blues Explosion in the early ’90s, he had to start explaining to fans and critics that he’s really more funk-rock than gutbucket blues. That confession certainly excused the band from playing “Sweet Home Chicago,” but it didn’t make up for its tepid, repetitive albums.
Drummer extraordinaire Russell Simins and guitarist Judah Bauer whipped up a frenzy on stage, but on disc Spencer’s adenoidal yelping and limited vocabulary (little more than the word explosion!) proved grating. On Acme, fortunately, Jon Boy actually sings- with surprising results: He bears a passing vocal resemblance to Mick Jagger, and on songs such as the slow-grooving “Magical Colors” and the Sly Stone-ish “Do You Wanna Get Heavy?” the band delivers actual melodies. The results? Explosive! – D.C.


THE UPDATE: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Acme. Truer to the “blues” part of the band’s name than to the “explosion,” this CD is less noisy and more bluesy than previous discs, but lead singer Spencer’s skewed vocals and lyrics remain as urban-hillbilly punk as ever.”