Here’s a clip of crunchy rock ‘n’ roll iconoclasts and bass guitar aversionists Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with “Burn It Off”, a slab of steaming blues-rock that Jagger & Richards wished they’d come up with first. The song hails from the ‘Explosion’s 2004 disc Damage.
A curious band is the Blues Explosion, a group which utilizes the essence of the blues without actually playing it, avoiding blues based rock cliches by drenching their sound with distortion and sheer RAAAARGGH!
There’s no other word, folks.
But, by the time they’d recorded this album, and this song in 2004, they’d embraced conventional songwriting too, besides the aforementioned RAAAARGGH!. And the results show them to be a tight little rock ‘n’ roll group, albeit without a bass player – two guitars and a drum kit would always be enough for these guys. And they took their time on the songs too. For instance, there are actually songs on this record over three minutes long! The punk aesthetic is there as it’s always been, of course. But the year zero stance has been shelved.
On this song you get the impression that the band has done away with shunning the Stones, and has rather beaten them at their own game instead. And I love the video which is pure Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animation. Cool!
A rock ‘n’ roll proverb to consider: when rocking, don’t cast down your idols. Build on their shoulders. This approach, of course, is always preferable. So here, the band works with producer-drummer Steve Jordan, who’s actually worked closely with Keith Richards on his solo projects. Yet, also present on this record is DJ Shadow in the production chair, a sampling wizard and turntablist a million miles from traditional rock music. It’s these kinds of moves that make me believe that, as Neil Young once put it, hey hey my my rock ‘n’ roll will never die.
For more information about Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and more music too, check out their MySpace page. Prepare yourself for some unstoppable rock ‘n’ roll-punk-indie-psycho-billy, though.