Jimmy P. Brown II – Eraserhead

posted in: Music Review, October 2018 | 0

Unless you are living under a rock, you had to have heard the hype about how awesome this album is. For those that are trying to resist the glowing reviews, let me reassure you: in this instance, you need to believe the hype. Jimmy P. Brown II has been the front-man for many bands through the years – like Deliverance, Fearful Symmetry, and Jupiter 6. While he may have been the driving force behind many albums, this is apparently what he considers to be his first official solo album. And what a solo “debut” it is. Many people are comparing Eraserhead to the classic River Disturbance album by Deliverance, where Brown went to his most experimental extreme. That is kind of a good place to start, but I look at Eraserhead a bit differently. If you took the classic second half of River Disturbance and mixed it up with the atmosphere of Jupiter 6’s second album Movable Walls, and then injected that into the first Jupiter 6 album Back From Mars (in a process that removes the industrial leanings of that album) – that would come closer to describing the sound on this album. Eraserhead has a groove that sinks in from the first track, mixed with a strong David Bowie influence that really works. Each original song is a cohesive movement that you could pick any one from at any moment to enjoy. The only misstep on the whole album is the cover of “Entertaining Angels” by the Newsboys. Brown really tries to improve that song, but there is only so much you can do with a song that has a cliché melody and a boring riff underpinning a bunch of lyrics that stretch too hard to make a spiritual point. But that just might be my hatred for the original showing through – if you like the original, you will definitely like his cover. It just sticks out so noticeably when surrounded by vastly superior tracks. And that is how good the album is – I will completely skip over one misstep to enjoy the whole. Everything about the release – from the packaging to the production itself – is top-notch. The artwork and design are beautiful, and the vinyl itself looks stunning. This is one of those rare full package deals. Even the mix is supreme. Last weekend I was installing a surround sound system, using this disc to test the speakers. Eraserhead sounds amazing in full surround… when many albums would fall a bit flat due to a weaker mix. So stop ignoring the hype and pick this album up. Also, don’t miss out on the vinyl re-issue of Deliverance’s River Disturbance that Retroactive Records put out in conjunction with this album. It is a top-quality re-issue that serves as the perfect vinyl companion to Eraserhead.

[2018 Retroactive Records | Purchase: boonesoverstock.com]

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