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Brian Jonestown Massacre - Strung out in heaven

Brian Jonestown Massacre
Strung out in heaven

Released 1998 on TVT Records
Reviewed by billding68, 01/06/2015ce

Adversity Can bring out the best in some, this is the case with 1998's Strung out in Heaven by The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The band had just been signed to their first major label deal after many years of touring, band member changes and a large output of music on smaller labels. Anton Newcombe the bands leader and driving force (and madman) was pretty much creatively side lined due to his addiction to heroin leaving Matt Hollywood to pull things together for their first "big time" effort. This change delivered BJM'S most easily accessible and truly genius album thus far. Strung out in Heaven is a collection of 13 songs, 3 of which are re-recordings of songs from previous albums arranged to fit the style and flow of the new material. Listening to this album its hard to understand that it was recorded in 1997/98 it has a sort of timeless sound that could easily been made in 1968 or 1973 for that matter. The songs on this album very much fit together almost as a concept album and as theater of the mind it work marvelously. You can hear the joy in some bits but mostly you hear the struggle, the struggle of a band who's talent is greater than the infighting and insanity brought on by hard drug addiction. This truly is one of those albums that I can find no fault with. Songs like spun,nothing to lose and the gem of the album Wasting away are just soo great I want to kick my own ass for not thinking of them myself. Unfortunately as with most great things the albums genius and beauty didn't catch on with the mainstream (who this album would have most appealed to) and TVT quickly dropped BJM from their roster. Strung out in Heaven is however despite those who discredit it for its slickness a fantastic album full of more great melodies and lyrics then most bands entire catalogs. Strung out in Heaven is a great jumping off point for those not familiar with the band as depending on your tastes you can explore their back catalog and really hear what lead to this peak or go forward and explore the strange and really innovative directions they moved into after this album. Really this was BJM'S most consistent album and I highly recommend it to all who might be curious of Brian Jonestown massacre but don't know where to begin.

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