Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8

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  1. Feb 6, 2012
    10
    As I enter my fifth decade of passionate love for rock and all of its variations, I notice myself buying fewer and fewer albums--not less music but fewer complete CDs. BJM is one of a handful of bands that makes albums, rather than mere collections of songs, and "Who Killed Sgt. Pepper" is a perfect example. Yes, there's a lot of variety, as the professional critics point out, butAs I enter my fifth decade of passionate love for rock and all of its variations, I notice myself buying fewer and fewer albums--not less music but fewer complete CDs. BJM is one of a handful of bands that makes albums, rather than mere collections of songs, and "Who Killed Sgt. Pepper" is a perfect example. Yes, there's a lot of variety, as the professional critics point out, but there's also a kind of conversation among the various songs. To cite just one example, different songs take different approaches to questions about the role of language in music: what is the relationship of sound to sense, for example? One song repeats a crude, perfectly clear phrase over and over ("Let's Go **** Mental"); in the next, a woman's echoing voice speaks so unintelligibly that it's impossible to tell what language she's speaking, never mind what she's saying ("White Music"); the third lays an incantatory Icelandic vocal over a smoking, bass-heavy groove ("This Is Your Last Warning"). It's nothing so schematic as a thesis-antithesis-synthesis progression, but, rather, a series of experiments that build on one another to sketch a range of possibilities for language in rock. Unusually ambitious and very cool. All of which is not to say that "Who Killed..." doesn't also feature great songs that can stand on their own; it does. Anton Newcomb has regularly delivered killer rock tunes, and "Mental," "Someplace Else Unknown," "Tunger Hnifur" and "Feel It" stack up well to earlier stand-outs. But the band is not just rehashing earlier successes; like the "dance" songs on the album, the rock tunes have a smoldering new edge, with louder, dirtier drums and bass than I ever would have expected from BJM. In short, I love this record and its contradictions: its chaos and its sophisticated unities; its grinding sexuality and its intellectual reach. I expect to keep buying BJM's albums, in their entirety, for many years to come. Expand
  2. Dec 17, 2013
    10
    Anton finally reaches his new sound after 2 somewhat difficult releases. This is a quintessential BJM album with great songs that simply refuse to quit my playlist, Let's go F mental
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. If anything, the album almost feels like a spiritual sequel to their full-length debut, "Methodrone," with its similarly lengthy tracks and more studio-focused approach rather than live rock & roll bash and crash, but where that album drowned a bit in the end, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? finds its creators at a remarkable new high.
  2. It’s a melee of styles and disparate ideas – some inspired, some falling woefully short. If its sheer reach borders on folly, it’s still enjoyable as hell.
  3. As always the songs veer wildly from ambient interludes, funky Beta Band-esque workouts to fierce garage rockers. Looking at the material here though, they remain a band to be reckoned with. Their lo-fi, experimental psych rock is as potent as ever with Newcombe a character to be cherished.