- 22 Oct 21
MMJ return to regularly scheduled programming.
My Morning Jacket dogfight over the guts of their ninth album. ‘Complex’ steps up with a White Stripes strut, but the oddball, madcap virtuosity of the band drags it – like a lion with its cub – someplace else. Carl Broemel’s guitar jaws at the song’s psych-soul, taking it down a Townshend-style detour.
The hypnotic neo-funk riff of ‘Love, Love, Love’ jousts with tinkling piano and buzzsaw guitar, as soulful backing vocals fade in and out. ‘In Color’ slides across an acoustic desert, before getting a full MMJ workout, as guitars rain down. On the Orbison ooze of ‘Never In The Real World’, they pour in slabs of space-rock.
Elsewhere, there’s drummer Patrick Hallahan’s driving groove on ‘The Devil’s In The Details’, the album’s cathartic centrepiece. Doffing his hi-hat to Bo Koster’s prog noodling, Hallahan eventually treks into a fascinating jazz-rock breakdown.
On lead single ‘Regularly Scheduled Programming’, vocalist Jim James lists his contemporary peeves: addiction to prescription drugs; never-ending screentime; trading real life for social media. It’s a steamrolling effort and and the pace never lets up. Captain Beefheart looms large throughout, particularly on ‘Out Of Range, Pt. 2’, which recalls the Don’s ‘I’m Glad’, before settling on a Flaming Lips-style fade out.
‘I Never Could Get Enough’ displays the band’s fantastic range, Muscle Shoals mixing with surf-rock riffs and space age synths. Throughout the record, MMJ appear and disappear in Pink Floyd quantum fashion, with Prince, The Allman Brothers and Crazy Horse galloping past. They are a band like no other, who never do the expected.
Listen: ‘Regularly Scheduled Programming’
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