What the hell’s that noise? “BING! BANG! BOOM! BING! BANG! BAM! BOOM! BOOM! BANG! BAM A LAMA BOOM BANG!” It’s only the Blues Explosion main man Jon Spencer firing up his debut solo album. You’re all invited to Do The Trash Can so grab something heavy and hit something hard, for Jon is not fucking around with Spencer Sings The Hits.
Sings the Hits is made up of twelve tracks filled with cool, irreverent lyrics over fucked-up fuzzy guitar and synth. Yes, synth! Don’t panic, though. Things haven’t gone all Pet Shop Boys. We’re talking a deep, distorted mess which adds to the awkward dance-a-thon. It also turns sinister at times. Just see Ghost coupled with primal tom-toms a-go-go. “Baby, baby, I’m a ghost” wails Jon Spencer and the penny finally drops. Only certain people can get away with this sort of shit and Jon Spencer is one of them. He continues with “…I’m a spooky ghost.” See? The release may have missed Halloween by a few days but add this to your playlist for next year. Oh, and add Alien Humidity while you’re at.
Riffs run even deeper on Time 2 Be Bad. There’s also what appears to be someone playing the radiator with a spoon from the kitchen drawer. I can go for that. I can also get down for Beetle Boots; a track that vents at those who treat band life as a fashion accessory. It’s not all about Chelsea Boots, y’see. Or is it? Damn you, Jon! I’m confused now. Admittedly, it doesn’t take much.
By the time we get to Love Handle we’re in super sexy mode. If this is sex on tape then it’s all whips and chains. Accessibility for the “normal” people is not Jon Spencer’s strong point… thank fuck! I Got The Hits is as close as we get. With a Kinks-a-like British Invasion riff, it’s dance-off time once more. Mr. Spencer wears a Cape to close the Hits and it’s like The Cramps never happened. Fake sings Spencer way back in the album’s ether, but that he is not.
…Sings The Hits is infectiously fucked-up and on par with anything the man has committed to tape before. Let’s just say, when I grow up I want to be as cool as Jon Spencer. I’m sure you do too. Ginge Knievil
Grab your copy here