Jon Spencer and the HITMakers: Get It Lit (In the Red) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 5th, 2022  

Jon Spencer and the HITmakers

Get It Lit

In the Red

May 16, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Full disclosure, I am a fairly big fan of almost every musical adventure Jon Spencer has ever been involved in, from wild noise OGs Pussy Galore to the wigged-out Boss Hog to his legendary Blues Explosion. Sadly, that streak ends here. This newest assemblage—which also consists of Quasi’s Sam Coomes on synths, M. Sord on drums, and former Pussy Galore drummer Bob Bert on “trash,” whatever that means, as well as Quasi’s Janet Weiss on drums in the touring band—is a peculiar gathering with what appears to be a very loose commitment to quality control, and an album that leaves a lot to be desired all the way around.

From the name, to the silly cover shot of Spencer with a haunting mug staring hard at us, to the general flavor of what they are cooking, this whole thing hits like a jape or a prank. Spencer being the naughty cut-up he is, besides being a vehicle for noisy guitar squeal, might just be pulling our leg at any given time and spewing some nonsense or another that may or may not be taken seriously as a finished product. This stuff is deconstructed, tongue-in-cheeky, basement blues party skronk, but none of it offers much in the way of substance. All of this is more like childish goofing off and it ends up seeming rather frivolous compared to a lot of the swell skronk Spencer has delivered in the past.

It’s as if all of these songs are the equivalent of a nutty tossed-off filler track that might close side one of an album as a joke. None of the songs are developed beyond the point of cartoonish posturing and none have much to recommend them musically. Even Spencer’s cool rock star voice, which still sounds a lot like it did in his prime, is wasted here. Titles like “Junk Man,” “Worm Town,” and “Primary Baby” are indicative of the songs themselves.
We should not necessarily be holding artists to their absolute highest standard every time out. We should certainly allow them room to breathe and move in their work, and grant them the right to do whatever they want in the end. But sometimes it’s okay to expect more of an effort. This album is the embodiment of reality not living up to even basic expectations. (

Author rating: 4/10

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