Jim Jones was doing loud in London at about the same time Kurt Cobain and Mark Arm discovered their amps went to 11 in the Pacific Northwest. Jones invested his first big-name band, the baroquely mantled Thee Hypnotics, with his sacred love of The Stooges and the MC5, swirled with Psychedelic dashes of Cream and The Pretty Things, resulting in a sound that roared from speakers and stages with tectonic power and tornadic fury. The group’s debut EP on Sub Pop and subsequent full-lengths on Beggar’s Banquet and American Recordings should have made Thee Hypnotics a stratospheric success (their final disc, 1994’s The Very Crystal Speed Machine, was produced by the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson), but they somehow failed to attract a well-deserved audience.
After stints with Black Moses and License to Destroy, Jones once again tapped into his pantheon of monolithic influences to create The Jim Jones Revue, a swaggering gene splice of Garage, Glam, Punkabilly and foundational Hard Rock. As Jones spits out his lyrics with the gritty histrionics of David Johansen, Tom Waits and Lemmy singing into a single microphone, his stellar band pummels and pulsates with the visceral heartpunch of the early New York Dolls and the original Alice Cooper lineup.
The Revue’s quartet of records (2008’s The Jim Jones Revue, 2009’s Here to Save Your Soul, 2010’s Burning Your House Down, 2012’s The Savage Heart) are throwbacks to a simpler and more linear approach to Rock, one that included the most joyous musical racket projected at a weaponized volume.
If Rock & Roll is a church, The Jim Jones Revue is its liquor-and-substance-addled choir, shouting drunken praises through heaven’s floorboards and stomping on hell’s ceiling with jackhammer intensity.
THE JIM JONES REVUE performs at Southgate House Revival on Sunday, Jan. 12. Click here for tickets/more details .