We’re not sure whether to hail this the finest rock n roll album of the year (including the ones yet to come) or a cult classic.
While there’s melody aplenty, Jones makes Motörhead sound like Abba (“Motörhead will make your lawn thrive”), and early Dr Feelgood as gentle as softly falling snow.
It comes howling out of the starting blocks from the opening seconds and mostly keeps the pace up for the duration. Jones (ex Hypnotics, Black Moses and the Jim Jones Revue) knows his stuff, and this is no wall of sound, the gaps between the noise working effectively; you can hear all the instruments and where a guitar break drops, it’s crystal clear and razor sharp — like the monster solo in Base Is Loaded. That he has a song called Base Is Loaded is all you need to know, really.
Jones’s career has probably been playing to devoted fans in small venues — we think he played the Sugarmill (Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent) on his last Revue tour — but this album, while keeping the punk rock ‘n’ roll energy of his earlier work, is slicker (relatively), and more melodic, and should appeal to a wider audience.
Opener Dreams is in yer face rock, full bore and one song where space and subtlety take a back seat. OK, even more of a back seat, then. Base Is Loaded comes next, Jones growling out the lyrics before a delicate piano solo (over a testosterone-laden drum pattern, admittedly) gives way to a monumental swampy blues guitar that runs for two splendid minutes.
Elsewhere, it’s gnarly and loud, though Shallow Grave and Everyone But Me see him slowing down, too rough-arsed to be ballads but a chance for a breather.
Try Base Is Loaded or the bluesy swamp stomper Boil Yer Blood.