Cold To The Touch (1996)

Brian Jonestown Massacre

Their Satanic Majesties Second Request
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Two decades later, it’s not as difficult to hear Brian Jonestown Massacre as something well beyond an homage band tripping merrily, if a tad late, in the steps of The Rolling Stones and Beatles. Rather, they are a band traveling along a continuum that was abruptly and pointlessly snapped in the mid-1970s.

Poof went psychedelic Rock. Then poof, back it came in the form of BJM.

The Indian drones, tablas, mellotron, the moving walls, the freaky modulation of volume, the migration of instruments left to right as heard through home speakers, mystical vocals: these all pop up once again on “Cold To The Touch” and other songs from the group’s Their Satanic Majesties Second Request. The title itself is a tip of the devil’s horns to The Stones’ 1967 album of virtually the same name, the “first request.”

The lyrics are spartan and challenge a troubling lover. The story is as familiar as the first writings chiseled in stone. The music calls us back to The Beatles’ “Within You And Without You” by George Harrison on Sgt. Pepper. (Note that George pops up on this SongMango playlist with “Blue Jay Way.”)

But there are shades of Donovan, (who also appears in this playlist with “Hurdy Gurdy Man”), a day-glo splash of Jimi, and a general aura of psychedelia with its dilating eyes and dripping colors. But “Cold To The Touch” isn’t a copycat or even an echo. It’s a bonafide extension of the inspiring and provocative period. The sound, as delivered by BJM, is as beguiling as ever.