The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion / Russell Simins – Select: Acme [Review] / Have You Ever (PRESS, UK)

November 1998 Select 11/98
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion / Russell Simins - Select: Acme [Review] / Have You Ever (PRESS, UK)
Review of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion album Acme and feature including Russell Simins titled “Have You Ever…” from the now defunct Select magazine.

“Have You Ever…” is a monthly feature in which the same question is posed to a number of muscians. This time it’s “Have You Ever Offended Your Mum?” and Russell is featured alongside others including Elliott Smith, Liam Howlett, Rene Dif (from Aqua), Supernaturals, Theaudience, 60ft Dolls, Scott 4, Catatonia and Divine Comedy.

“Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Acme, Mute

Fifth full-length studio album from the Beasties-endorsed crooner who shouts his band’s name a lot.

“This is blues power,” barks a ’50s MC at the outset, and even the hardest Spencer buff might be forgiven for thinking, “Christ, not again…” What follows, however, is precisely the album that this near-terminally entrenched trio needed to make – one which started out as a Steve Albini recording but then turned into a post-production free-for-all featuring mixers as diverse as Berlin techno terrorist Alec Empire, Memphis musician’s muscician Jim Dickinson and Dan Nakamura aka abstract hip hopper Automator.

As a result, ‘Acme’ is the most current-sounding album you’re likely to hear from this lot. While staying to true to JSBX’s righteous heritage in rock’n’roll and (lest we forget) the blues, it’s also their most funky, with Spencer and Judah Bauer’s twin-guitar methodology re-routed from their punk-inspired past to something more danceable. In the single ‘Magical Colours’, there’s even something that may yet be deemed chart-worthy. Honest, folks: if you’re going to buy one Blues Explosion album, as they say make it this one. ****

Andrew Perry”

“Have You Ever Offended Your Mum?

Russell Simins
(Jon Spencer Blues Explosion)

I think when I said I wanted to be a musician, that kind of upset my mom. But now my parents couldn’t be happier for me. I mean, they were very good about it, they got me a drum set when I was seven years old, they let me play it all my life, but I think that they were always a little concerned about my obsession with music until they saw that it was working for me. I think that probably the most worry I’ve put them through as a musician was the fact that they knew that I was driven to do that and there was nothing they could do about it. I can’t think of anything like ‘MY MUM CAUGHT ME SMOKIN’ A BLUNT! BACKSTAGE, MAN! WE WERE WASTED!’ My mom’s cool.”