By Kevin Friedman on November 14, 2012
The sound was dirty, brittle and shrill. There was no bass to even out the unrelenting treble of the two-guitar assault of Jon Spencer and Judah Bauer. Russell Simins maintained order with the beatings he gave his drum kit. The deepest tones on the songs were often Spencer’s voice. There was a lascivious sexuality in it, summoning something between Isaac Hayes and Barry White when not rivaling Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard in the unadulterated audacity of his screams.
Spencer made a name for himself with Pussy Galore, as deconstructionist and nihilistic a post-punk band as there was in Washington, DC, and then on the Lower East Side of New York in the mid ’80s. When that band melted down, he joined the Honeymoon Killers, where he met Simins. The two began staying after practice to jam. Bauer, a wide-eyed kid fresh off the bus from Wisconsin, showed up to borrow some gear and ended up getting in on the action. The Blues Explosion was born.