If you can get over the terrible title, there’s plenty here to please the casual JSBX fan who might not have snapped up the five In The Red singles Spencer put out between albums proper, culminating in 1992. For a side project of sorts, the results are pretty exhilarating. When the tracks hit hardest, like on Ghetto Mom and especially opener Shirt Jac – a raw feral blast that lives up to all the hip-hop/hardcore/Birthday Party comparisons at once – they are hard to beat. And it goes without saying that owning them on the hallowed 7” format is the only way to fly. Bent, too, is a good example of the production contrasts the trio have used in their time (for one album they even tried to get Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad team to work with them). But the best stuff, obviously, made it to the Blues Explosion’s nine studio albums. The explosive, knowing joy found in tracks such as Afro, Bellbottoms and Heavy is sadly not matched anywhere here, but some tracks come close. Better to think of this as offcuts, then, however rough. Some might even give you splinters.
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Jukebox Explosion (Rockin’ Mid-90s Punkers!)
Singles’ Club collected at last, plus random odds’n’sods
In The Red | ITR 146
Reviewed by Jake Kennedy
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