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Album: The Brian Jonestown Massacre <!-- none onestar twostar fourstar fivestar -->

We Are the Radio, TEE PEE

Andy Gill
Friday 19 August 2005 00:00 BST
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As the rockumentary Dig! demonstrates, Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre talks a good fight, in terms of art and music and integrity. But his track-record of over a dozen albums without a hit suggests he struggles to develop his ideas to the point where they might bear out the title of this mini-album. For Dig!, the director Ondi Timoner followed the careers of Newcombe's BJM and his friend Courtney Taylor's Dandy Warhols as they pursued divergent paths through the indie-rock undergrowth, with Newcombe the charismatic anti-hero cutting a truculent swathe through relationships and reputations, notably his own. This latest batch of songs finds him in subdued mood, blending West Coast jangle-pop with New York sleaze-stomp: "God Is My Girlfriend" is a ponderous 12-string drone, while languid strummage dominates the other tracks alongside synth noise and murmurous vocals - a sort of electro-folk hybrid that's utterly contemporary, even if the vocals are recorded so low that the only audible lines are "Here's something for you to put down/ You never heard me coming/ But when I leave it will make an awful sound". Genius or madman? Who cares?

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