The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Paper: Acme [Review] (PRESS, US)

November 1998 Paper

This article originally appeared in Paper 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.
“Acme (Matador/Capitol) In spite of its name, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has always been about rock ‘n’ roll. Although musically grounded in the blues-rock tradition, their sound is less about the blues lament than rock’s reckless rebellion. On Acme, the band’s fifth album, Spencer, guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins strip the music down to its rhythmic essentials, letting the drums serve as the sonic focus. With the help of such studio aces as Steve Albini, the Automator (Dr. Octagon) and Alec Empire (Atari Teenage Riot), the beats become another member of the band, adding texture, mood and, above all, attitude. On Automator-helmed tracks such as “Talk About The Blues” and “Attack,” both the vocals and the guitars are processed like samples and served up as aural garnishes to a pungent groove. At these moments, JSBE achieve a sense of raucous urgency and twisted psychedelia that claim a turf uniquely their own, and arguably take another step forward in the evolution of a musical tradition.