What is there to say about The Brian Jonestown Massacre's frontman, Anton Newcombe, that hasn't been said before? As one of independent rock music's most notorious, controversial, yet beloved figures, Newcombe's output quantity has declined in recent years, though the quality and integrity of his music remains as strong as ever.
The rock 'n' roll renegade had already set an extremely high bar for his group in 1996 after releasing three records in the span of only one year. After two decades of debauchery, Newcombe has largely settled down regarding his on and off stage antics and has put out some of his most intriguing and polished work to date. For anyone looking to learn more about Newcombe, his band, and his polarizing personality, it can be found on full display in Dig! the 2004 documentary directed by Ondi Timoner.
"Forgotten Graves" is a single from The Brian Jonestown Massacre's latest self titled album. It is the english version of the album track "Tombes Oubliées", sung by female vocalist and frequent contributor Rike (Friedrike) Bienert. This track undoubtedly belongs on the band's self titled album as it contains many of the elements of Newcombe's songwriting that fans have come to know and love.
Psychedelic and melodic guitar lines weave seamlessly through beautiful open-string chords played across an abundance of strings (Newcombe is known to love having 12 string guitars on his records and on stage). The song creates an epic soundscape complimented by Newcombe's somber lyrics and vocal performance.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre has always been a rotating cast of musicians but recently the band's lineup has become more stable. However, this track (and subsequent album) saw Dan Allaire, the band's drummer since the early 2000s, swapped out for Sara Neidorf who has brought new energy to the band.
This song has an infatuating head-bobbing groove and Neidorf's laid back style is immaculately captured. While The Brian Jonestown Massacre has released many records over the years, new fans need not look past this track to understand what this band is all about.