The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Third World Pyramid album review

Psychedelic overlords show no signs of coming down

The Brian Jonestown Massacre Third World Pyramid album cover

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As evidenced by a work ethic that has seen the release of three records by the Brian Jonestown Massacre in the last 18 months alone, sobriety, a move to Berlin and a stable line-up have served to sharpen bandleader Anton Newcombe’s muse.

Moreover, with this, the band’s 14th studio release, Newcombe has produced an album that employs a variety of styles while refusing to overstay its welcome. The result is the band’s most concise effort since Strung Out In Heaven.

In keeping with his most recent albums, Newcombe’s psychedelic offerings go beyond the usual tried and tested formulas. The acoustic dirge of Good Mourning finds his delight of puns fully intact, while his love of soundtracks is exemplified by the spaghetti western-inflected Oh Bother. Best of all is the shimmering cover of Nina Simone’s Assignment Song that the band claim as their own.

Julian Marszalek

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.