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The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? - A
FILTER Grade: 85%

By Matt Elder on April 7, 2010


The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Anton Newcombe loves the not-so-subtle reference. The only constant of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s original cast, Newcombe moves past the Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine references that have helped shape his past, and instead toys with Liverpool’s favorite foursome. While Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? makes the point of directly quoting John Lennon’s own interpretation of The Beatles—“We meant more to kids than Jesus did”—the similarities end there. And just in case you doubted him, Newcombe’s line, “I’m not asking about Jesus” in “Someplace Else Unknown,” should help clear the air. This go-around, BJM blurs the lines between the “psych” label it’s so often given. Yes, the psychedelic traits that have arguably made the group king of the modern movement remain, but an overall feeling of dark psychosis primarily leads this audible charge. It’s undeniable that the record’s track listing is nothing short of jumpy between genres and stylistic outings, but the fact remains that your ass will move with each beat courtesy of Spaceman 3’s bassist Will Carruther. From the album’s opening electro-tribal groove to “Tunger Hnifur’s” distorted bass and scratching vocals, the instrumentation throughout Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? is both massive and of the varied type.

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