Brian Jonestown Massacre - NME -May 2012

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Wiltern Theater LA May 12 2012

 Cliché for some  is  discovery  for others -   with their signature timeless sound, sixties derivative meets 90s shoegaze,  Brian Jonestown Massacre hail from a time  when big record company budgets, rampant hedonism and corporate domination underscored the music business.

Weaned in  the drug fuelled post punk vortex that was early nineties San Francisco, this circus troupe of  psychedelic fuck ups once earned enough cred to make it big. That was around 1992 when they were hailed as hotter than Nirvana .Of course the band's carnival of errors in blowing this golden opportunity  were documented in the popular documentary Dig, where they rode the coattails of the then huge Dandy Warhols.

 Initially main man Anton Newcombe condemed  the huge filmic hit, yet nowadays, he seems to acknowledge it did a lot for his band, having in fact won Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. BRM's latest 30 plus date global tour actually sees him  summoning the  same lineup as were featured in the Dig, after numerous staff changes and whimsical sackings over the last six years .

The Wiltern show offered a cross section of familiar material, with  emperor Newcombe lauding  over his flock from a stool at the side of the stage. Now  that the band are sober, there was little raucous armageddon or  edge of seat chaos - a pity really. All up things were tight and professional, with BJM playing for over two hours.

Its easy to be pessimistic about an age when the likes of The Stone Roses, Happy Monday and  boatloads of 90s types are wheeling it out for another cashcow run. Yet compared to  the sea of  shit steeped in mass marketed hipsterism, the oldies offer redemption for the latter day music consumers, teaching them there's far more to swagger  than skinny jeans.


Written by Craig Stephens

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