After 30 years as one of the most recognisably frayed edges of the fringes of the rock scene, Brian Jonestown Massacre’s sole constant, frontman Anton Newcombe, is showing no signs of suddenly going any way but his own.
Recorded in a flurry of inspiration after a period of writer’s block, Fire Doesn’t Grow On Trees is reassuringly raw, grimy and swimming in a sense of undefined, itchy urgency. The album was written on the hop, Newcombe spilling his brains right onto tape, and it shows – imperfections are made into a positive, the songs allowed to just naturally come into being.
With fuzz and feedback piled high, It’s About Being Free Really, the anchor of the first half, dances around the Bo Diddley beat without quite committing, a louche slice of countrified rock’n’roll that refuses to be swayed by the demands of the 21st century.
Before And Afterland, meanwhile, combines Velvet Underground dirge with psych freak-outs. Riffs are loose and leary, straight from the darkest corners of the garage, vocals are given wobbly free range, and, in a time of airbrushed perfection , maybe that’s just what the doctor ordered.