The Brian Jonestown Massacre – My Bloody Underground (A Records)


The Brian Jonestown Massacre and their leader Anton Newcombe have done a lot of bizarre things since forming in 1995, but this album (their 11th) takes the cake. A little background – My Bloody Underground is the first full-length from the group in five years and their first for Anton’s newly created label, A Records. It’s also the first record Anton wrote and recorded on his own (a co-writing credit for Ride’s Mark Gardener on the awful “Monkey Powder” is the only exception), allowing him to present his ideas without having to filter them through other people. So, how does Anton handle this new found freedom? Pretty poorly, actually. In fact, the first time I heard the album I thought it was a rehearsal tape. Regardless of the quality of songs (we’ll get to that shortly), My Bloody Underground suffers from murky sound and in some cases instruments sound like they haven’t been tuned right, even though one of the songs, “Infinite Wisdom Tooth/My Last Night In Bed With You”, starts with a full minute of tuning up! Then comes the song titles: Anton has always injected some humor into his titles, but “Automatic Faggot For The People” (a torturous bad-trip goth number) and “We Are The Niggers Of The World” (a pointless solo piano piece Anton wrote at age 9) is at best a poor attempt at provocation, and at worst, just flat out dumb. Editing isn’t a strong point either, with much of the 75+ minutes eaten up by pointless numbers like the ten-minute drone “Black Hole Symphony”, the frightening “Golden-Frost” which features a bunch of German babbling, “Ljosmyndir” which features more babbling – this time in Icelandic, and a pointless instrumental called “Darkwave Driver/Big Drill Car”. This leaves you with just five songs you might want to hear more than once. Of those five only “Bring Me The Head Of Paul McCartney On Heather Mills’ Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs On The White House)”, “Yeah-Yeah” and “Just Like Kicking Jesus” are great. If you’re thinking about buying this based on previous BJM albums, be warned – there’s little of the sound that you’ve come to love and a whole lot of confusing drug-damaged noise instead (and not the good kind, either). There’s videos for each song posted on Youtube, so I would preview My Bloody Underground there before wasting money on what might be music’s biggest “fuck you” since Metal Machine Music.

Tracklisting:

  • “Bring Me the Head of Paul McCartney on Heather Mill’s Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs on the White House)” – 6:27
  • “Infinite Wisdom Tooth / My Last Night in Bed With You” – 6:06
  • “Who Fucking Pissed in My Well?” – 4:33
  • “We Are the Niggers of the World” – 5:19
  • “Who Cares Why?” – 8:20
  • “Yeah-Yeah” – 4:29
  • “Golden Frost” – 3:44
  • “Just Like Kicking Jesus” – 4:38
  • “Ljósmyndir” – 4:08
  • “Auto-Matic-Faggot for the People” – 5:46
  • “Dark-Wave-Driver/Big Drill Car” – 7:42
  • “Monkey Powder” – 6:55
  • “Black-Hole-Symphony” – 10:20
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