Jon Spencer is definitely not regarded as an introvert artist. He is doing songs somewhere between blues, punk, garage and rock. On 1st April 2022, he is releasing the second album with Jon Spencer & The HITmakers. Here are my thoughts about Spencer Gets It Lit.
Jon Spencer & The HITmakers – About The Artists
Jon Spencer is a New York City artist. He has been part of a couple of band projects. The most well-known one is The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which has been founded in 1991 and broke up in 2016. The band overall released ten studio albums. Thereafter, he founded Jon Spencer & the HITmakers. For this 2022 album, the band consists of Bob Bert (trash), Sam Coomes, (synth, vocal), M. Sord (drums) and Jon Spencer himself.
Jon Spencer & The HITmakers – Spencer Gets It Lit – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 35 minutes. The CD version includes two additional tracks,
1. Junk Man
I guess you did not really expect some “ordinary sounds” after checking the album cover, did you? The short opener (just 2:22 works with electronic sounds, beach rock-alike vibes, blues vibes)… Welcome to the world of Jon Spencer! They might be a bit of different in here – but the sound is cool!
2. Get It Right Now
The first notes of Get It Right Now feel like clear rock’n’roll – but then the song turns into a lot of spoken words and good work on the guitars and the bass. The song has some sound reminding of late 1980’s video games and a touch of psychedelic music as well. Like most songs on the album, Jon Spencer creates a fascinating potpourri – and after listening to the full song, you still keep asking yourself how THIS mix of sounds could be that good.
3. Death Ray
Death Ray has been one of the single releases of the album. The song is a mixture of garage rock sounds and futuristic elements again – this time, it is much harder for me to really follow and enjoy the tunes. It’s not mainstream, it’s music on the edge. Some of you might name this one even their favorite – for me, it is too much.
4. The Worst Facts
The Worst Facts has a stronger blues touch again. The main theme with the surf sound is rather present. On top of that melodic bedding, Jon Spencer and his band put several layers of vocal and instrumental elements. More on the fascinating side again.
5. Primary Baby
I feel that Primary Baby is one of the best songs in regards of pushing forward. The chorus is very catchy as well. Thus, this fifth song with a lot of spacey grooves and guitar presence is one of my favorites.
6. Worm Town
Worm Town is rather laid back and has the a strong blues groove in some parts of the track. However, the song also takes quite sudden breaks and changes in its style. This leads to a bit of a “hectic” feeling to me as well.
One thing I recognized while listening to Bruise: one additional reason why the album is stressing me is that the songs are rather short. Only two tracks are longer than three minutes. Bruise, which is having nice wave-alike sounds is 2:28 minutes. Just when I started to enjoy it – it is over. Back luck, next one.
8. Layabout Trap
The synth sounds which are put on top of the song feel distracting to me. However, they lead to a bit of a psychedelic touch – and, yeah, they give a signature to this song.
9. Push Comes To Shove
The ninth song has a strong garage baseline, but is also working a lot with electronic sounds. A shortie, by the way: the song is just 1:59 minutes.
10. My Hit Parade
My Hit Parade is as mainstream as this album gets: the distorted sounds, the multi-layered arrangement of songs is at an minimum here. This also leads to a clear view how good the musical quality of the album is. Pure Jon Spencer – nice to have that one on the album.
11. Rotting Money
A cool bass groove and screaming guitars welcome the listener to Rotting Money, which feels like three songs in one – at a playtime of 2:45 minutes. A bit too much for me.
12. Strike 3
Strike 3 is a really nice garage rock track. Nice work on the keyboard with organ-alike chords as well. Another very short track – but it leaves its mark.
13. Get Up & Do It
Get Up & Do It feels like the final order to the listener. Jon Spencer and his bandmates work with stomping rhythms and very fluent elements. The song is simply pulling you into its inner circle. Good listen!
Jon Spencer & The HITmakers – Spencer Gets It Lit – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Jon Spencer & The HITmakers – Spencer Gets It Lit – My View
Albums like Spencer Gets It Lit are very hard for me to rate. There is no doubt about the high technical and musical quality of the songs. However, I feel that Jon Spencer & the HITmakers play with the limits – and sometimes they exceed them. Thus, there will be a wide range of thoughts when you listen to it. You may love it or hate it – regardless of my thoughts. I felt it was a really interesting experience. Not top class, but not bad as well.