The Jim Jones Revue – 'The Savage Heart' (UK Release: 15 Oct '12) // Words: Simon Opie
Album number three, 'The Savage Heart' could be the breakthrough moment for The Jim Jones Revue. It takes the high octane Rock ‘n Roll that is their trademark and adds some definition that might well broaden their appeal. Recent recruit Henri Herbert on keyboards is credited with bringing a new sonic dimension and certainly there is strong piano drive that departs from the Little Richard cliché significantly.
Also notable is the development of the vocal style of Jim Jones – there’s the Jon Spencer-like blues rock dirtiness for sure but there’s also moments of Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits and Mark Lanegan thrown in as the band explores some wider sonic landscapes on songs like ‘7 Times Around The Sun’, ‘Chain Gang’, the excellent ‘In And Out of Harm’s Way’ and the disconcerting ballad ‘Midnight Oceans & The Savage Heart’.
Produced by Nick Cave collaborator Jim Sclavunos, who also produced 2010 ‘Burning Your House Down’, this album isn’t so much a dramatic departure from the band’s signature sound as a confident evolution of it. Opener and lead single ‘It’s Gotta Be About Me’ is a raucous slab of throwback RnR with a chorus that’s catchy as pox, but takes its time in a notably less than frenetic way.
It’s the impression of space around the songs that makes this album less unrelenting than its predecessors – and a really engaging listen. There are out and out rockers like ‘Never Let You Go’ and ‘Where Da Money Go’, alongside the greasier ‘Catastrophe’ and ‘Eagle Eye Ball’, songs that grind the gears a little more deliberately.
'The Savage Heart' is a strong album, taking the band’s sound into new territory with considerable success. They are still in the Mooney Suzuki/Dirtbombs retro-tinged ballpark, but fashioning out a blend of funky, rocket fuelled, grimy rock and roll that is distinctively The Jim Jones Revue.
'The Savage Heart' is out today and available to purchase at amazon.co.uk. Find more info at jimjonesrevue.com.