Philly rockers Them Jones craft far-out riffs and psych-drenched anthems, reviving and reinventing soundscapes reminiscent of the Age of Aquarius on their new LP A Mountain of Nonsense.
Beginning with the steady buzz of “Mended All Made Clean,” the five-piece's efforts make one take notice, as reverbed screams and gritty cymbals collide with satisfying repetition and impassioned diction. As if filling the narrative chasm between Mikal Cronin’s “Gone” and Ty Segall’s “Inside Your Heart,” Them Jones’ album opener sinks deep into the hearts of listeners without pretense or apology. “Hollow Man” captivates in a similar fashion by teaching its audience patience as atmospheric dissonance gives way to melodic guitar and harmonized vocals that paint a glaringly relatable portrait of a man with “wounds to mend.” A deliciously contemplative downer, the track is as haunting as its namesake suggests. Soon after its end, the infectious tempo and throbbing beat of “Outburst” fills the silence, switching the mood of the album from the musings of a contemplative loner to the pulsating heart of an unabashed romantic.
The bluesy growl of “One of These Days” casts a spell on its own terms, making the most of initially sparse but precise instrumentation, before blooming into an audible homage to the genre’s predecessors as well as its current greats. Furthered by “Acute Mountain Sickness Blues” and the addictive hook of “Honeytrap,” Them Jones prove that their metaphors are as memorable as their ability to shred. As the album progresses, the dreamy melody of “My Heroine Pretends” suitably precedes the delectable swagger of “Well Enough Alone,” which serves as the perfect prelude for the introspective depth of “Jennifer, My Plastic Girl” and “The Shrinking Violet Light,” which resurrects the candidness of Jay Reatard and the poetic genius of The White Stripes pre-De Stijil.
Ending with the delectably menacing “Now I Become Death” and trippy glory of “These Canyons,” A Mountain of Nonsense should be considered quintessential for any music lover. Them Jones’ official debut LP is well-deserving of heavy rotation and adoration. - Dianca London
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