Album Review: Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind – “Super Natural”
It was a bit of a shock when Jim Jones’ previous band the Jim Jones Revue suddenly split up in 2014. Critically acclaimed with three superb albums under their belts and a fanbase big enough to pack out venues the size of the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, to see them suddenly bring proceedings to a halt when the sky seemed the limit was a bit unexpected to say the least. Jones would resurface the following year with his new group Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, and after a trio of well-received singles, Super Natural is their long-awaited debut album.
If you’ve not heard this group before now but were familiar with the Revue then on first listen, Super Natural might be a bit of a shock to the system as they’re definitely a bit of a different proposition from the Little Richard meets Jesus & Mary Chain sonic attack of that band. What we’re dealing with here is a swampy and dark blues sound, not a million miles from Nick Cave’s Grinderman project, or maybe what might happen if you put Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Andrew Eldritch in some run-down Louisiana bayou bar with a few shots of fireball whiskey to keep them going. However, if you put it in the context of the evolution that was going on on the JJR’s final album, 2012’s The Savage Heart, then it starts to make a bit more sense – that album was the sound of a band starting to move its sound forward on songs like Seven Times Around The Sun and Never Let You Go, and it’s not unfair to suggest that if they’d carried on down that route it might sound a bit like this.
While the voodoo rhythms of Dream get this one off to a good start, the lurching groove of Base Is Loaded (not unlike a heavier version of the JJR’s Cement Mixer) brings us back into more familiar waters just to reassure you a bit. However, the hypnotic rhythm of Something’s Gonna Get Its Hands On You Tonight and Till It’s All Gone definitely give this band its own identity. Even more out there are the sinister croonings of Shallow Grave and the brooding piano-led closer Everyone But Me, while there’s an impressive fire behind former singles Boil Yer Blood and Aldecide and the lurching Heavy Lounge Pt 1.
One of the darkest and heaviest things you’re likely to hear this year, Super Natural might take you a few listens to get into, but the rewards are well worth it. Go see.
An impressive first effort from the Righteous Mind. It's got a few links to the previous Jim Jones Revue sound, but there's been enough progress here to mark this band out as a whole new proposition. Like I say, you may need to give this one a few listens before you really get into it, but once you do, its dark and foreboding charm will make it a difficult beast to leave alone. Recommended.