The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion


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What is the blues? Each time Jon Spencer ventures on a new project with the Blues Explosion this term is beaten to death, literally. In the studio the band professes an ethic of raw abandon that might be blues, or punk, or soul or some mixture of the three. On this EP, which contains the album version of "Rocketship" as well as four live tracks recorded in Arizona in 1996, the essence of the Blues Explosion is encountered. The band forces with relentless energy through "Down Low," "Dynamite Lover," "Flavor" and "Full Grown." The band is at its best on this live compilation, and their pure power is evidenced. By the final two songs, Spencer and Judah Bauer are yelling at the top of their lungs -- subtle, this ain't. The live versions of these tunes dwarf their studio counterparts. This album forces one to reevaluate all the recorded versions of Spencer's work, and wonder what they are like live. If the blues can be defined as the best forum for projecting pain and emotion in a musical context, then this is clearly a blues record. Even if it's not classic blues it's still great. This album is necessary for anyone wishing to experience the Blues Explosion on the verge of combustion.

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