The Jim Jones Revue: The Savage Heart

Faster, heavier, louder... Maximum r’n’r from JJR.

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Anyone still labouring under the daft notion that The Jim Jones Revue are a 50s retro throwback should be finally shot down by this mighty third album

The raw ingredients may be similar to Little Richard’s prime – booming guitar, frenetic piano-pumping, vocals so hopped-up they could make the dead dance – but it’s all delivered at such a frightening level of intensity that they’re more akin to The Birthday Party or Gun Club, or even Motörhead, at their elevated best.

The real game-changer, however, lies with several distinct sonic shifts. Midnight Oceans & The Savage Heart is a trippy ballad swimming from the fish-eyed lens of the late 60s, while bluesy prison song Chain Gang, showcases extraordinary new pianist Henri Herbert, a boogie-woogie master for the ages.

In And Out Of Harm’s Way is equally striking, with a tribal rhythm that starts off all Summertime Blues, then goes somewhere altogether weirder. Bad Seed/Grinderman Jim Sclavunos is at hand again to ramp the tension up to the hilt.

A triumph from top to tail.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.