There’s a JSBX toolbox of track sounds, from the slower, instrumental jams that seem built entirely on fuzz, to the stabbing, off-beat romps that last under 90 seconds, and the blitzed double-speed Elvis parodies – usually complete with sexy title. All are amazing, and all are present on this, the trio’s first album in eight years.
So it’s back to business as usual, with no genre detours or guest musicians or vocalists. Spencer himself is angrier, no longer merely ranting at door-to-door salesmen as he has before. His bile is directed, most often, on the “scene” his band has managed to escape. He compares musical fads to “rotting fruit” that will “make you sick”, while on Black Mold he lists jazz musicians over Judah Bauer and Russell Simins’ ever reliable noise – and what a noise it remains. On Unclear, Spencer defines it as “falling down the stairs together”, which is as good a description as any army of music journalists could muster.
Still, muster we must, so on Meat+Bone, despite the fact there are no new angles and no obvious riffs that might linger in the Blues Explosion canon, you get the sound of a band playing to their strengths. Survivors – veterans, even – but definitely still searing and relevant.