Jim Jones & the Righteous Mind: A “Super Natural” Force Like No Other

In the intertwining universe of music, or more specifically, rock ‘n’ roll, the word “legend” is often used to describe a performer whose talents have far exceeded the “everyman”. Whether it’s poetic songwriting or inhuman guitar playing, the level of musicianship must achieve a higher echelon to warrant such a knighted title. When we stop to think about who our legends are, we’re known, as human nature dictates, to be biased due to our own personal opinion, but can still agree with our peers, regardless of taste. Take Jimi Hendrix for instance. Not everyone’s a fan, yet most will vote “aye” that his virtuosity went into a far superior class of its own, deeming him legendary. If you set pen to paper a who’s who of musical deities, you’d probably include Mr. Hendrix on your list, along with (possibly) the Doors, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, the Who, Rolling Stones, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis (grazing just the tip of the iceburg). With just the mention of these names, you’re easily reminded of how sublime the music was (and still is), the fluidity of the songs, and the very charisma of their commanding stage presence. And if you took all of the elements of this elite class and rolled them into a “superman”, that supernatural force would be none other than the inimitable Jim Jones.

Jim Jones and Co. keep on rockin’ in the free world.

Jim’s origins lay in the highly-influential British garage/psych group Thee Hypnotics, which helped spearhead the mid-’80s alternative and psychedelic rock underground in London. From their formation in 1985 to their swan song in 1999, Jim and his rockin’ hypnotists recorded several albums (most notably on Sub Pop and Beggars Banquet), toured with punk royalty such as the Damned and the Cramps, and were championed by the press in such music periodicals as Kerrang! and Melody Maker. Suffering through tragedy and an exhaustive work schedule, Thee Hypnotics succumbed to being emotionally drained and they called it a day. Jim, restless spirit that he was (and still is) proceeded to front Black Moses, then eventually moving on to form the Jim Jones Revue in 2007. Seemingly wanting to break a land speed record of “Guinness” proportions, Jim’s new project recorded their debut self-titled album in 48 hours and released it in 2008 on the appropriately titled Punk Rock Blues Records label. Fusing the high-energy soul/rock of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis with the Detroit crunch of the Stooges and MC5, the Jones boys were a tough act to follow, especially with their live shows becoming legendary rites of passage. After releasing two more studio albums, they announced in 2014 that the ride was ending, and there would be no more recording or performing. As a parting gift to the fans, the Revue embarked on the “Last Hurrah” tour, thus bringing another chapter to a close in the saga of Jim Jones.

A framed copy of this album artwork would surely be a conversation piece.

Proving that moss would never grow under his feet, Jim was in the studio recording new material a mere five days after the Revue’s last show at the Forum in London. Recruiting bassist Gavin Jay, guitarist Mal Troon, pianist Matt Millership, and drummer Phil Martini, Jim has put together a worthy successor of his Revue with the Righteous Mind. The “Aldecide/Alpha Shit” 10″ single and the “Boil Yer Blood” EP (both released on Raygun Records) was just a taste of the joyous madness to come. Now, Jim and his Righteous bunch have amassed a full length collection of dark garage rock ‘n’ roll titled “Super Natural” on Hound Gawd! Records. The opening track “Dream” erupts into a sonic mule kick of Stooges/Clone Defects brutality with Jim’s trademark primal unholiness coming in loud ‘n’ clear. The Righteous Mind provides the pummeling of the senses as they carry out the shock attack that can surely blow the shit out of weaker, inferior bands. Another treat is the aforementioned “Aldecide” which is luckily included here (for those that never picked up the green vinyl 10″). With its bluesy garage beat and piano keystrokes accenting the proceedings, the backing vocals provide an ominous tone that draws you into its nightmarish odyssey. Another supreme rocker, “Boil Your Blood”, is destined to be included on future Halloween-themed playlists, with its eerie keyboard work, making it another stand-out that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser on the live circuit. There’s a total of ten cuts on this album, and they each have the creative partition that separates themselves much like chapters in a book. At times, there’s a certain Southern Gothic feel with Jim belting out his vocals like a swamp bound Joe Cocker. There’s plenty of mood music on this record, and it’s a worthy entry in the career of Jim Jones, whose discography is a testament to his legend.

 

“Dream”:

“Boil Your Blood”:

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Joey Camp

Joey Camp is a former podcaster that’s worked with the GaragePunk Hideout and Real Punk Radio. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA, and you can follow him on Twitter @Joey Camp.

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