The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

JoEchephus and the George jonestown Massacre

Arockalypse Now

Released 2012



What they say:



Blazing a trail out of Memphis, Tennessee, Joecephus and his always revolving band The George Jonestown Massacre are on a roll. Having been referred to as the link between Motorhead and Merle Haggard and having served as opening acts for such diverse artists as Shooter Jennings, David Allan Coe, Jesco White, Southern Culture On The Skids, Jim Dickinson, Green Jelly, Torture King from Jim Rose Circus, Scott Biram, The Reverend Horton Heat, HR of the legendary Bad Brains and many more, Joecephus and company are ready for full auditory assault in any venue that can take it. Exhibiting a tireless work ethic, the band has played Honky-tonk venues as well as Punk/Metal clubs throughout the southern states.


Joecephus has created a unique style by mixing "outlaw" country sounds with rockabilly rhythms, jazz improv, reggae, rock, and old school punk blurring the boundaries of music.



The band can also be heard on local Memphis radio and on SiriusXM Outlaw Country. Featuring members who come together from a prestigious list of some of Memphis' finest bands, this is just the beginning for a band that will be tearing shit up for a long time to come. Do yourself a favor and experience the electrifying energy of Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre when they roll through your town.




What we say:



Wow! Now that’s what I call an album. If you have an open mind and an ear for a fine tune the almost early –Kiss garage riff and punk vibe to ‘Getaway’ may have you thinking that Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre is just another back to basics alt rock band. And while the song itself won’t necessarily sell you the album it will have you listening on. ‘Love Song 666’ marries a rockabilly beat with crashing guitars and frantic drums before breaking into reggae followed by a country breakdown. It’s the driving guitar though that holds it all together and a frantic vocal raises its glass to a bluegrass MC5 alternative universe. And we’ve only just scratched the tip of this oddly-shaped iceberg…



It’s when you hit the feelgood pop-meets rock and roll riffage of ‘Memory Lane’ that you realise that you are dealing with a multi-faceted band that either has far too many good ideas for their own good or that you may just be witnessing mad genius at work! Quickly into the riff driven ‘Just Another Day’ you can’t help but grin broadly at one of your new favourite bands.



In an album that busts with ideas it’s hard to pick favourites or highlights and the brevity of the songs themselves just works so well, the down-home country of ‘Dope Smokin’ Song’ lightens the mood.



So if you want variety this is the album you may have been searching for. There’s the straight-ahead punk/garage rock of tracks like: ‘Tomorrow’ bouncing off the spacey alt-rock groove of ‘Cheating Days are Over’ immediately followed by the country of ‘RX Savior’ extolling the benefits of prescription medicine! It’s strangely one of my favourites here.



The country love song ‘Pepper Spray’ is certainly the first country stalker song I’ve heard and adds humour on top of an already heady mix of styles. As a contrast ‘Six-string Samurai’ saunters and fizzes and almost evokes early Faith No More in it’s quirky, jazz meets hard rock construction and rolling bass.



The metal improvisation of instrumental ‘Pawtrick’ will also tick boxes for some, whilst ‘Pimpworth’ again explores the heavier side of the band. It’s songs like ‘Middle Finger Blues’ though that really stick with me, country-tinged alt-rock at its very best.



‘The Race is On’ starts the charge out with a high speed country rocker and ‘Watch It Burn’ keeps the tempo with a rockier groove. We close out with atmospheric jazzy ‘Baby Shower’ and although it's not the strongest way to end proceedings it opens up yet another aspect, and it’s at that point you really realise that you don’t want it all to end, so you just push play again…



All up you get an album that is hard to take in in a single sitting and something that with a few more listens sounds all the more special. I urge you to check out these guys. I’ll be delving into the back-catalogue as soon as I can. I know that this will feature in my personal ‘Best of 2012’…




by Mark Diggins