Blues Explosion – Damage

Expansive seventh LP from NYC blues-punk trailblazers

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Jon Spencer’s commitment to rejigging the blues according to his own punk aesthetic has sustained him for 13 years. His band cut a distinctively rough dash until 2002’s Plastic Fang, which replaced their visceral riffing with conventional song structure and?thanks to Rolling Stones producer Steve Jordan-a conscious retroism. For seventh album Damage, the (now “Jon Spencer”-free) trio hired five different producers (Jordan, David Holmes and DJ Shadow among them), plus guests Martina Topley-Bird and Chuck D to further broaden their sound, which embraces Stax-style soul, nuggety funk and gruff, politicised rap with equal enthusiasm. More variety in their blues, certainly, but no less vigour.


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The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter