Like being smashed repeatedly about the head with a drumstick, the Blues Explosion method is not subtle and after some time it starts to hurt. While most of the world is still recovering from last year’s belligerent Acme opus, Jon Spencer has seen rt to release a whole album of remixes and extra tracks from those prolirc sessions.
Frustratingly, Blues Explosion quality control is virtually non-existent, so rather than introducing hardcore fans to a whole new radically altered dimension of their ubiquitous blooze – as 1995’s more successful and adventurous ‘Bellbottoms’ remix EP achieved – Acme-Plus is simply more and more of the same gnarled riffage and hyper porch-front gospel preacher-man routine that’s characterized well every JSBE release ever since.
When ‘big name’ producers are involved, proceedings become more distracting and Spencer is dragged, kicking and screaming, into something resembling the future.?Moby’s production softens Spencer’s irascible howl on ‘Wait A Minute’, ironing it into a disco Stone’s pastiche. The Saints And Sinners Remix masterfully dilutes the traditional spray-on soul ‘madness’.
Ten out of 19 isn’t a great strike-rate, but then, that’s probably not the point. This is the blues after all and the blues as Spencer always insists is a law unto itself. Frankly, I say, arrest this man.