Many bands have tried and failed to capture the raw energy and passion they display in their live sets, but The Jim Jones revue are the exception to the rule. Their third offering ‘The Savage Heart’ radiates just that. The album was produced by Jim Sclavunos of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Grinderman fame, which isn’t surprising as The Jim Jones revue like to stay on the darker side of rock n roll. This album seems like a natural progression for them. It’s cleaner, more mature, and more accessible to those unfamiliar with the band. One notable change is that newest member Henri Herbert is pushed to the forefront. While the piano has always been part of their sound, it now takes on new dimensions with Herbert at the helm.
As soon as It’s Gotta Be About Me starts with catchy riffs and accompanying piano, the sound is unmistakably The Jim Jones Revue, but and evolution of the band. Jim Jones’ voice is the real star of this show as he snarls “It’s Gotta Be About Me” whenever the music threatens to eclipse him. Never Let You Go lures us in with a sweet solo piano before completely changing gear and launching into a full-scale attack. Jones’ vocals are both menacing and alluring in equal measures, a true highlight of the album. Where Da Money Go? is a cheery but angry number about the current financial crisis we are living through. The music is cheery and light-hearted, only Jones’ screeches give away the true meaning of the song as he forces the focus onto the lyrics.
7 Times Around The Sun has an almost gospel like feel to it, and it’s impossible not to sing along. It the only song on the album that doesn’t have guitar on it, the vocals and piano take centre stage, exuding so much energy and power. In & Out Of Harm’s Way is a rambling six minute mini epic that serves as a bluesy breather from the full throttle energy of the rest of the album. Eagle Eye Ball is The Jim Jones revue at their best, Jim Jones himself cited this as his favourite song from the album and it’s easy to see why. It pushes their sound to its limits, his vocals take on an accusatory tone and you can feel the tension build until breaking point. Midnight Oceans & The Savage Heart with its baritone vocals and brooding nature could easily be off the new Mark Lanegan album. It seems a bit out of place with the rest of the album. You would be hard pressed to guess it was The Jim Jones revue if you had never heard the song before, however it’s good to see the band trying something new, it works well as the final song on the album. Its sombre nature gives us time to reflect and think about the album we have just listened to.
This album will gain them the abundance of new fans that they wholeheartedly deserve. They have consistently matured and grown with each album and where they go next will be very interesting. The album is a lot more accessible and the song writing has improved tenfold. It was very enjoyable to listen to and we won’t be alone in thinking that. This could be the album we look back on to pin point where it really took off for The Jim Jones revue.