Technically we’re back in the world of rock here, but not as close to the earlier “Black…” series as you’d expect. This one of Jon Spencer’s side projects – here with his sexy missus and some friends.
This is a rather strange exercise. Usually Spencer delivers a gruntier sound than that presented here. This is an over-produced, overly clean vibe. There is some experimentation on the electronic side, which curiously lends it a more retro, new-wave dimension.
Mrs. Spencer (well Ms. Martinez) has a breathy and confident style. The songs are well suited to her approach, although they typically much substance, and the album becomes quite repetitive. Spencer pops every now and then with a few James Brown-style grunts and squeals (plus a few cusswords).
I’m coming across as a bit harsh here. The album is highly competent and I remember being quite the fan at the time of its release. But, in the wake of rawer and more energetic efforts from The Black Diamond Heavies, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and even PJ Harvey, this album seems a bit stale.
Having said that, the title track is a ripper, especially helped by female drummer Hollis Queens’ gospel chorusing.
File under: Too bright white out