The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Don't Get Lost

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Arriving a scant four months after their last full-length, Don't Get Lost finds Brian Jonestown Massacre trekking ever further afield into the psych wilderness. Since launching his Cobra Studio in Berlin, bandleader Anton Newcombe has turned his operation into a bursting warehouse of sound, opening the floodgates to deliver a torrent of new music over the early 2010s. Bearing the name of a song from 2016's Third World Pyramid, the 14-track Don't Get Lost offers a pretty wide cross-section of BJM's various modes, with a particular emphasis on electronic experimentations. As on many of their 2010s records, a handful of guests can be heard scattered throughout the proceedings, like singers Tess Parks, Tim Burgess, and Shaun Rivers, as well as Norwegian musician Emil Nikolaison (Serena Maneesh) and British saxophonist Pete Fraser. Immediately challenging listeners, Don't Get Lost opens with "Open Minds Now Close," an eight-minute droning Kraut-psych jam that hangs out in the same key for exactly eight minutes. Of the more electronic-oriented material, the instrumental "Charmed I'm Sure" offers a pleasantly dreamy ambient respite while "Acid 2 Me Is No Worse Than War" thumps along brightly with its programmed beats and oddly engaging cacophony of swirling synths and unintelligible vocals. The lengthy, trance-like "One Slow Breath" is meandering and quite pretty at times with distant spoken word vocals scattered throughout. For all of its interesting textural presence, though, Don't Get Lost suffers from a dearth of legitimate highlights, with BJM seemingly wandering the sonic landscape in search of a proper song or theme to grab onto. As they head further down this cerebral path, it would behoove Newcombe and his gang to work a bit harder on their core offerings before they paint on all the fun stuff.

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