Spencer, Jon Blues Explosion : Sweet ‘N’ Sour

...drearily straightahead rock’n’roll...

After the success of [a]White Stripes[/a], Jon Spencer looked set to clean up. This was, after all, the man who single-handedly reintroduced the blues to a generation of MTV-fed white suburban college rock mooncalves. Sadly, however, he dropped the ball by releasing an album full of songs just like ‘Sweet N Sour’, a jaunty piece of JSBX-lite that forsakes the innovation of previous outings in favour of some drearily straightahead rock’n’roll. Whatever.

Much better, however, is B-side ‘Maureen’, an eerie slab of low-down’n’dirty swamp blues that sounds like it’s just learnt to walk after emerging from the primeval soup. Indeed, ‘Maureen’ is so unevolved you can practically hear drummer Russell Simmins’ knuckles scraping on the studio floor.

Pat Long