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The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective
Tee Pee Records

This anthology is quite a grandiose collection of music from one of the most overlooked fringe artists in the independent rock music scene over the past decade. The unique vision of Anton Newcombe has led the band through some very experimental stages and tons of band members and has developed a clarified musical vision without equal. Listening to TBJM's songs in loosely release order lends the ear a very distinctive sense of the growth and transformation of the band over the years. Songs spanning the entire history of the band make up this phenomenal collection, starting with the earliest releases that were heavily influenced by the psychedelics of early Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. The songs show a slow change into the dark groove rock of a more Cure influenced sound, while maintaining quite a bit of the psychedelic influence. It is easy to see the beginnings that made such good friends of Newcombe and contemporary songster Courtney Taylor-Smith of Dandy Warhols fame. Their musical evolutions began in very close places, but have obviously grown in far different ways since the early 1990s.

Disc 1 is full of the earlier psychedelic songs and includes some of the greatest from the catalog. "Who?" is a trippy trip through an updated Roky Erickson styled rock-a-thon. The clean guitars of the Donovan-esque "Straight Up And Down" clash just enough with the 80's style vocal production, sounding like Robert Smith fronting a hippy band. "Anenome" is here in its epic splendor, making me wonder again just which of the bands actually wrote this song and who ripped the other off. Disc 2 tends to be a bit darker and rock and rollier… songs like the total Barrett sound of "Let Me Stand Next To Your Flower". The more modern rock of "In My Life" and the highly Byrds-esque "This Is Why You Love Me" are two more fine examples of the mean variety of sounds that TBJM was capable of. Included on disc two are also a few previously unreleased live tracks, including a beautiful version of "Swallowtail" and "Hide And Seek". Also found here for the first time is the previously unreleased track "Feel So Good", which is stunning in its own right, and almost worth the entire compilation in itself.

There are no duds among these 38 tracks - whoever put this collection together did a fine job of gathering some of the finest songs from the band's history. This collection is so comprehensive and wide-spread that it would make a great compendium for the established TBJM fan, so one doesn't need to pull out many records at a time, or for the uninitiated, this would make a great starting point to introduce you to the band.

If you missed out on the second psychedelic revolution, now is the time to catch yourself up!

L. Keane

Track Listing:
1 All Around You (intro)
2 Who
3 When Jokers Attack
4 Servo
5 Open Heart Surgery
6 If Love Is The Drug
7 It Girl
8 Sailor
9 Straight Up and Down
10 Anenome
11 wisdom
12 Just For Today
13 Stars
14 Vaccuum Boots
15 Prozac vs. Heroin
16 She's Gone

1 Nailing Honey To The Bee
2 That Girl Suicide
3 Nevertheless
4 Evergreen
5 Starcleaner
6 Let Me Stand Next To Your Flower
7 Hide and Seek
8 In My Life
9 Mary Please
10 Talk-Action=Shi
t11 Oh Lord
12 This Is Why You Love Me
13 Not If You Were The Last Dandy on Earth
14 Swallowtail
15 Feel So Good
16 Fucker
17 #1 Hit Jam
18 Ballad of Jim Jones
19 Free and Easy Take 2
20 Stolen
21 Mansion In The Sky
22 Sue

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