Saturday, March 29, 2008

Brian Jonestown Massacre - She Made Me

(Bomp/Tangible, 1992)

The debut single from a very young Brian Jonestown Massacre. Like Ride and early Blur, this record sees the BJM working at the intersection of shoegaze and pop, particularly on “She Made Me” (which is also titled “She Moves Me” on the label): the shimmering waves of guitar are present, but there’s a standard verse-chorus-verse structure and a definite emphasis on the beat, as the borderline-baggy drums are right up front in the mix – the slower, less percussive recording heard on the Methodrone album is comparatively lifeless. “Evergreen,” which also shows up on Methodrone in more polished, finished-sounding form, is looser, spaced-out psychedelia that gets lost in its own echo-laden dreaminess and simply doesn’t have the A-side’s kick... stick with the LP version of this one. It’s interesting – and a little surprising – to hear these early Brian Jonestown songs, where the music is driven by atmosphere rather than attitude, and the lyrics and frontman are of little or no importance. Interesting, yes, but not necessarily better, as this style doesn’t seem as well suited to Newcombe’s songwriting strengths or his undeniable talent for loudmouthed rabble-rousing. Still, it’s a pleasant genre exercise, and a successful enough imitation of then-current British styles.

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