Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Brian Jonestown Massacre - Prozac Vs. Heroin / Nailing Honey To The Bee

Brian Jonestown Massacre
Prozac Vs. Heroin / Nailing Honey To The Bee


Released 2003 on Numero
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 18/03/2006ce


Every so often a 45 comes along that just completely tears my head off that I become somewhat obsessed with it. This 45 by The Brian Jonestown Massacre is one of those 45's. I first encountered this group in the late 90's via their (then brand new) album "Strung Out In Heaven", while the record was enjoyable enough it didn't really have that big of an impact on me. However a friend insisted I listen to some of their other albums such as "Give It BacK", "Take It From The Man" and the absolutely classic "BraveryRepititionAndNoise." I listened to his advice and I have since become a BJM fanatic. I reckon their leader Anton Newcombe is a genius on the level of Roky Erickson, Arthur Lee, Syd Barrett or any other "heavy cat" you care to name. This guy is the real deal without question.

This 45 came out as a taster for their brilliant album "This Is Our Music" and man is it a biggie. Everything about this record is classic, even down to the packaging. "Prozac Vs. Heroin" is a mind-numbing dose of psychedelic folk-rock that recalls the glory days of the Chocolate Watchband, 13th Floor Elevators and "Da Capo" era Love, however this is far from revivalist music, it is firmly in step with today in a way that I find hard to describe. The song features a hypnotic, trance-inducing quality that reminds me of a modern day Rolling Stones "Aftermath." Newcombe plays a guitar solo in the mid section that is positively devastating. The flipside "Nailing Honey To The Bee" is an electronic instrumental that brings to mind Sonic Boom's Spectrum. It compliments that A side perfectly. You just can't ask for more from a 45, this record is destined to be considered an all time great, get it now while you still can. Anton Newcombe is the MAN!!!!!!

Update (3-15-07) It turns out this record actually plays 2 different songs on the B-side depending where you place the needle on the intro grooves. It plays the instrumental I described in the above review, it also plays an entirely different track when the needle is placed in a different position. It's a hit and miss affair in choosing which track will play. The other hidden track is another cool garage punker with a vocal, I'm not sure if both tracks carry the same title, anyone know? Nice work Anton you certainly tricked me!


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