"Last resort mexico" reviews
“Something strange is happening in West Yorkshire – It’s called The Blind Dead McJones Band!
Witty in a way “Last of the Summer Wine” never was, this debut CD is a brash bizarre, bewildering buffet of blues. Unlike Led Zeppelin, this trio will never be accused of plagiarising the material of Willie Dixon, or indeed any other writer – (Blind Man with an) “Elephant on a Lead” is not your usual blues-standard title. Vocalist/Guitarist “Buddy” Slack, bassist “Cake” Johnson and drummer “Wee-Man” Nixon extend the power trio format by introducing their (perennially absent) leader BDMc, him-self. Whilst they do touch upon blues themes in their material (“I’m Ready” – style boasting in “Blind Man McJones” and “Crossroad” pacts in “BD3”) thier take on them is 90% Cleckheaton and 10% Chicago. I smiled (a lot) at the latter number as “Buddy” recounted the Devil coming off second best because he hadn’t kept his receipt on buying the soul.
All that is missing from this original collection is melody. The literate monologues, though enlivened by tasty guitar breaks and well executed BV’s, call out for some occassional, er, singing. But maybe that’s what BDMc does, if he ever turns up!”
Keith Lee, Blues in Britain.
“To say that The Blind Dead McJones Band are not your average or ordinary band, would be an extreme understatement. Their new album “Last Resort Mexico” is a unique experience with the start of each new track grabbing your attention and then pulls you into the very unique world of the band. Starting off with “Dead Blind McJones” which is a mixture of deep blues and autobiography, the band will then have you foot-tapping to the bassie “Hang on there Boys” and “Haunted” before raising a smile with amusing and witty lyrics in “Real Cool Time” and “Elephant on a lead”. With lead singer Ben’s incredible voice being at one with two musicians (Steve Nixon and Andy Johnson)at the top of their musical prowess, the band gives a rounded performance throughout. Other highlights include “Last Resort Mexico” which is the perfect track combining as it does, with brilliant guitar-work and superb storytelling, while “B3D” tells the story of how the devil lost out, and all because of a mis-placed receipt! The final track is a monumental eight minute “live” bonus offering and ends the CD in wonderful style. This is a band who not only play outside the box, they also dismantle it for good measure. A unique album from a unique band, definitely one to catch ASAP.”
Paul Abraham, Leeds Music Promotions
fantastic modern blues from these tight playin’, hell raisin’ rapscallions…Taking a cue from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and 70’s period Howling Wolf/Muddy Waters but rubbing up their own twist this is primed for a bigger audience! Get this and go see the live!
Jumbo Records, Leeds – http://jumborecords.co.uk/music-item.asp?product_id=LRM001CD
A trio of raunchy blues rock dogs with a fine battle-hardened turn of phrase and a seedy view of the world outside their own – no doubt roach infested – London bedsit, The Blind Dead McJones Band insist they are contracted by band leader and musical guide Blind Dead McJones, despite McJones never having played with the band.
That mystery aside, The BDMcJ’s use their nefarious back-story to great effect, singing about McJones and his badass ways on a collection of dark, Beefheartesquely belligerant blues that are occasionally confronting, as on the spoken word B3D (‘I can see you got some soul boy, wanna trade?’), always bristling with a subtle electric violent energy.
Rumbleland suggests that Wee-Man, Buddy and The Cake may have listened to as much Rage Against The Machine as they have Muddy Waters and ZZ Top; whilst the 8 minute long live album closer Wolf Howl shows they have the chops to make this very left of centre music work live.
Shane Pinnegar, 100% Rock (Aus) http://magazine.100percentrock.com/cd-reviews/201309/30435
The first time I came across this band was last October at the HD club in Manchester and I thought then that they were both unique and bizarre. This album confirms my suspicions on both counts, Last Resort Mexico is a tremendous collection of 11 songs each one as diverse as you could possible get from any pre conceptions you may hold about BDMB. The album contains a high level of humour and a tongue in cheek attitude to their song writing that doesn’t diminish or detract from the superb skills or musicianship of the band members who are,
Blind Dead McJones – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Diddley Bow, Kazoo.
Big Ben Slack – Guitar.
Steven Nixon – Drums.
Andy Johnson – Bass
They describe themselves as Blues / Rock but this goes beyond that with hints of the Meteors, Captain Beefheart and Cream all chucked in for good measure.
The opening track Blind Dead McJones is a great track, a mood lifter and one of those songs that will resonate around your brain for days after.
Hang On There Boys follows in the same vein, bringing a smile to my face, feet tapping and thinking “I need to see these guys live …again “ . The 3rd track B3D is a moody, soulful song with definite lyrical and musical references to Crossroads and even a “White Room” sounding hook to it. I love the way BJMB create these references without giving the impression that they are sampling or copying other artists, their own style and influences are securely nailed to the fret boards for all to see.
Then we come to Try Something Wrong, a real bluesy track with cracking guitars and vocals that immediately conjure up images of Captain Beefheart. This is probably my favourite track on the album because of its ability to make me lose myself in its intensity.
Steven Nixon’s drum intro and constant rhythm on Rumbleland is infectious, supported by Big Ben Slack’s razor sharp riffs make this a definite floor filler and it’s a track that will be played over & over again.
Real Cool Time does exactly what it says on the tin, it is the perfect track to have midway through the album deviating from one style to the next with ease. My only reservation about this song is that it would have been even cooler if it was about a minute longer but that is just a minor gripe on my part as I loved it. The next track, Boobz is a track of gentle incantations and slower ebbs once again taking the Rock / Blues genre out of the box and into another dimension that attempts to clarify the style of BDMB.
A brilliant intro and subtle bass line throughout Haunted from Andy Johnson make this another track that will get some hammer in the car stereo but it’s not only Andy’s contribution that makes this such a good song, it ups tempo part way through, Ben’s guitar wanderings and Steven’s frantic drumming combine perfectly to leave a lasting impression.
The bizarrely named Elephant On A Lead is next up and for most of the track it is bizarre ! It is more a narration accompanied by minimalist bass and drums but it has a quality that compels you to listen to it although I can’t explain what that quality is. You will have to listen to it yourself to understand what I mean.
I have just changed my mind about my favourite track on the album. The title track Last Resort Mexico has now captured that particular crown. Its tempo changes, excellent backing vocals and dialogue are immense before it explodes back into a tough kick ass blues track that could stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the great blues songs on record. A truly awesome track.
The final track is Wolf Howl and is a great indicator that BDMB can recreate their studio sound in a live environment to much appreciation and this track broadens their repertoire further in a gutsy blues / funk sort of way.
Bizarre might be too strong a term to describe The Blind Dead McJones Band, but they are different, unique and based on this album their song craft knows no bounds…long may it continue.
By Joe McKenna. J.A.C’s Rock Block
Our newest Spotlight shines brightly on Leeds Blues trio The Blind Dead McJones Band, and also on their fantastic new album ‘Last Resort Mexico’. To simply say that the album is unique would be to wildly understate the fact. It’s a fun and punchy, colourful and toe tapping journey into the minds of the band themselves, and mother of god, do those minds taste strange. Saying the album is ‘fun’ is also in no way belittling the talent on display here either, as this is a hugely talented band, comfortably growing into their own style with some serious skill and aplomb. The vocals, when they come, are crisp and soaring, and the lyrics are well written and more often than not a joy to sing along with. Although absentmindedly singing some of the lyrics aloud without context, while shopping in your local supermarket, might get you followed by store security and give nearby strangers the fear. Stand out songs for me would have to be the cleverly addictive and hugely entertaining B3D, and also Try Something Wrong, which in itself could stand alone in displaying all those finely crafted musical skills of the band I was talking about. Check the tunes out on the links below, and do yourself a favour by ordering the album!
Full Spotlight article from The New Hellfire Club here – http://www.newhellfireclub.co.uk/2012/10/the-blind-dead-mcjones-band-spotlight.html
I’ve got something a little different here. I just received the new release, Last Resort Mexico, from The Blind Dead Mc Jones Band. Although definitely a blues based band, this band is more along the lines of The Dwarfs, Gas Huffer or maybe Mudhoney. If you like your blues with a bit of punk and a lot of grit…here you go. Blind Dead Mc Jones is a blues rocker with telling of things to come. Hang On There Boys is a bit more of a straight up rocker. It’s got all of the components that I have described and if you like that sound… it’s here and strong. B3D is more of a story telling song with the eerie background. Try Some Wrong starts off with a cool guitar riff and sounds a bit more bluesy but still with a lot of grit… say half way between the Keys and the Pistols. Not bad at all. Rumblehead lays back into the punk rock grit but a bit more polished. Real Cool Time is a bit more loose and has a cool sound. BOOBZ keeps the roll not changing a lot from earlier tunes. The track has a story telling segment and a rocking segment. Haunted is a frantic rocker again with a punky edge… possibly the best track on the cd, just reinforcing the intentions of the recording. Elephant On A Lead is another cool track with a story told behind a loose rhythm track. I like it! Last Resort Mexico takes the rocker route again more Motorhead than Muddy but very cool. Guitarist Alex Eden cuts loos with an uncharacteristic guitar solo on this track. Wolf Howl is straight up blues, provided on this bonus track. Now of course it will always have a twist but gives the band a chance to stretch out. The band is Ben “Buddy” Slack Guitar, vocals, Andy “the cake” Johnson” Bass, BV’s and Steve “Wee-Man” Nixon on Drums and BV . If you like it rough… and you like a little punk… get in line. This may be your bag!
Bman’s Blues Report (from the states!) – http://www.bmansbluesreport.com/2012/10/last-resort-mexico-blind-dead-mcjones.html
We featured The Blind Dead McJones Band a while back, not long after setting up the site, and loved what we heard. As such, when the guys dropped us a line letting us know about their latest album Last Resort Mexico, and asking whether we wanted a copy, my answer was of course a resounding yes please. Once it arrived I sat back and hit play to see what was in store for me…so to the music!
Opening the record with Blind Dead Mc Jones things get off to a rather off piste start, ushering in the start of the album with a combo of drums and spoken vocals, the mix immediately grabbing your attention and luring you into listen harder. Soon picking up the bluesy rhythms we’re tossed into a blues fuelled melee of guitar work, roving bass and pounding drums, all backed up by the gravelly vocals which continue to abound on top of the mix. The feeling here is one of dirty rock, the sort of sound which makes you want to move, drink beer and love every second of what you’re hearing. Hang On There Boys continues this theme of dirty rock, this time launching us head first into a faster mix of raucous guitar lines and filthy bass rhythms, once again offering up a sound which is sure to get you moving. This is one of my personal favourite tracks off of the album, the sort of thing I want to get out to see on the live scene as it’s got that feeling of being a hell of a lot of fun to see performed, definitely one you need to make sure you check out.
B3D slows things down as it comes into being, somehow transforming the sound musically into one of a past time, almost sounding like something out of the psychedelic period of the 60’s and 70’s, yet managing to add in the bands updated and unique approach to things to keep you aware of who you’re listening to. The lyrics are the key to this track, telling the story of trading a useless soul with the devil, somehow managing to form into a sound which will keep you listening throughout, a sound which hooks you in and doesn’t let you go until the moment the track comes to a close. Following on with Try Some Wrong the theme once again returns to the solid blues orientated riffs of earlier in the tracks, this time launching into a soaring blues lead guitar line backed by a roving bass rhythm, the sort of thing that’s once again going to get you moving, make you want to tap a foot, and evokes images of a dark bar filled with cigarette smoke. Another high point on the album for sure, this is a track which seems to represent the sound of The Blind Dead McJones Band, that original sounding blues but with an updated feel, the sort of thing which will hook new fans in but appeal to older fans of proper blues stuff at the same time.
Rumbleland once again shifts the sound of the record, this time moving more towards the off piste style stuff again, opening with rolling drums, rumbling bass rhythms and more of those spoken words. It’s striking that the guys manage to create such a level of sound with only three of them in the band, showing just what they’re capable of and how accomplished their sound really is. Real Cool Time, BOOBZ (hey…..any track called BOOBZ has to be a good track doesn’t it?!) and Haunted all continue to demonstrate just how able a unit we’re dealing with here, but it’s when Elephant On A Lead came about that once again I found myself reaching for the rewind button as it finished. Somehow taking a strange approach to the track and turning it into something accessible and cool to listen to, this is one which sits you back and simply asks you to listen, playing out the bands unique approach and the whole time keeping you engaged. This track is a mix which, on paper, shouldn’t work – yet the result is something far more spectacular, something which allows you to piece it all together, and something which I recommend you check out.
Title track Last Resort Mexico officially finishes the album, closing with a hard hitting and powerful track designed to get you dancing, singing along, and loving every second of what you’re hearing. Powerful rhythms combine with upbeat and bluesy guitar lines to create a sound which is dark yet upbeat, funky yet bluesy, but all out catchy and very cool to hear. This is a track which is built for the live scene, the sort of thing which fans will beg for and the sort of thing which will build the reputation of the band for sure – one you need to check out if you get a chance.
The album also features Wolf Howl, a recording of the Blind Dead McJones and Friends Jam Band as a bonus track on the album. Recorded live and showing off the true prowess of the band, this final track acts as the closing moments of the album, securing that thought that you need to get out to see them live, and showing just what they’re capable of – finishing on a high even if it isn’t just them playing!
I’ve liked The Blind Dead Mc Jones Band since we first featured them all that time ago, and it’s cool to see how they’ve continued to develop their sound since then. From start to finish here you’ve got an album which is funky, dirty and downright good fun, and the sort of thing which renews my faith in live music. Definitely a band I’ll be looking to see in the upcoming months, make sure you get out there and get hold of this album, you won’t be disappointed.
Dave Nicholls, Loud-Stuff – http://www.loud-stuff.com/the-blind-dead-mcjones-band.html
The opening verse of the opening track, Blind Dead McJones, tells us everything we need to know about how great this album is going to be…
McJones himself is an international man of mystery who doesn’t always make it to their shows, but ‘the boys’ in the band definitely leave us in no doubt as to the extent of his powers; each song is a miniature masterpiece which subverts the traditional expectations of the blues genre, as they belt out monumental rhythmic mountains of powerful riffs and witty vocals along with some truly skilful musical interplay.
Some of the lyrics are like rap star boasting, but funny: he built the hospital he was born in with his own hands… when his daughter lost her virginity he went out and got it back… he sold the devil a soul he’d made himself! So, across this album we have the crossroads legend pushed to the very edges of credibility, but it seems that to take this too seriously is to totally miss the point.
Refreshing isn’t the word; okay, it isn’t exactly pioneering, but it echoes many of the great blues sounds, riffs and ideas of the last century into a modern reimagining of the type of bands that existed before we were even thought of and wow is it fun! The closing track, Wolf Howl, captures the live experience and I will certainly be on the lookout for an opportunity to catch them live.
Have a look here; you may even catch a glimpse of the man himself, all I know is he has a beard that you can hear on every track!
Matt Rhodie, Rhubarb Bomb – http://rhubarbbomb.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/last-resort-mexico-review.html
Back in 2008 somebody or something up in the heavens decided the world needed more amazing music, and so gave us The Blind Dead McJones band. This awesome three piece have a great stock of influences ranging from early blues through ZZ Top to The Fun Lovin Criminals.
Last Resort Mexico starts as it means to go on by taking rocking blues music and exploding into your ears with the first track Blind Dead McJones, an amazing mix of greatly crafted music and well written lyrics and a pinch of humour. A better introduction there isn’t giving you a glimpse into the dark funhouse that is the bands collective mind. Like a freight train the album continues into Hang on there Boys, taking the musical pace up a notch the boys really pile on the skill pulling you along for the ride, and what a ride it is.Dropping the speed the album slides into track three B3D, a hail to the classic form of Blues standard story telling done brilliantly, a dark and gritty story of the devil and the hard man gripping you and showing the song writing brilliance of the band. Lifting you up again the boys take you through Try Some Wrong, Rumbleland and Real Cool Time to the brilliantly named Boobz, what’s not to like about Boobz. Another fantastic combination of great story telling and awesome music, thunderous drums and gritty guitars laid over spine tingling bass.
After Haunted and the humorously titled Elephant on a lead we get to the title track Last Resort Mexico, a rolling blues tale told in the unique style of Blind Dead McJones forming a dark and twisted path that you just have to follow, in an almost addictive way. Breaking into a spoken section accompanied by cool bass the band lull you into a false sense of ease then explode into an amazing display of guitar playing that makes you smile like a demented child. Ending the album on Wolf Howl, a great live piece bringing in more amazing musicians to form an almost party like finish. Everyone loves a party but it brings a small sad feeling being the last track on the album leaving you wanting more.
After listening to this album I have come to the conclusion that The Blind Dead McJones band are cooler than a penguin in a Fez and smoother than Cashmere love glove. Being a massive fan of Rock and Blues music I cannot praise this album enough, not only have the band hit the nail on the head but they have smashed it through the wood into the concrete floor below. Do yourself a favour and give your ears a treat, go listen to this awesome album and see I’m not exaggerating how good they are.
The Blind Dead McJones Band are a real-life incarnation of that blues-rock bar band you secretly wish you were in
We’ve all done it at some point in our lives, I’m sure. Sat crouched on the edge of a bar stool, kneeling in towards a packed table, a grizzled bar band crackling pumped-up Muddy Waters riffs out in the background, as you bore your friends with the rehashed line, ‘I could do this’. Well, most of us might not be able to provide the guitar-driven backdrop to a night of hedonism, but most of us aren’t The Blind Dead McJones Band. Born into a bathtub of whiskey and dried with a beard doused in cigarette smoke, they’re the bar band we all wish we were in.
All that’s missing from album opener Blind Dead McJones is the sound of stools crashing to the floor as you rush to catch the opening notes of the band’s filthy blues-rock, ready to lose yourself in a haze of sweat, beads of spilt beer crashing against your limbs. Hang On There Boys mixes the pure adrenaline of Led Zeppelin with the swagger of Morrison Hotel-era Doors, before B3D eases its lazy melodies into the fray.
Anyone expecting the rising liquor levels to cause the quality of music to seesaw in the opposite direction need not afraid – The Blind Dead McJones band can hold their booze. The album’s remaining tracks stay true to the raw energy of their predecessors, with a little of The Black Keys’ sandpaper coarse vocal delivery thrown in for good measure. Highlights include Real Cool Time and Haunted. Bonus track Wolf Ends closes Last Resort Mexico with a pure distillation of the album’s raucous essence and, as it slips away, swallowed up by the dead air of an already creeping hangover, leaves you wondering why the band can still stand as you fall.
Why? Because The Blind Dead McJones Band were born to rock ‘n’ roll.
Verdict: Bristling blues-rock to get you up off your bar stool
Damian Girling, Songwriting Magazine – http://www.songwritingmagazine.co.uk/last-resort-mexico-by-the-blind-dead-mcjones-band-album/
“Take one part George Thorogood, equal parts Rob Zombie and Johnny Cash, mix it all together and top it with a healthy layer of Tenacious D, and you have something not even close to The Blind Dead McJones Band. Trying to compare the debut album ‘Last Resort Mexico’, from the Leeds-based trio, to anything we have ever heard before would prove to be an impossible task.
The Blind Dead McJones Band find ways to create their own unique sound while filling the album with farcical lyrics and nostalgic blues parodies. There is no denying the musical abilities of this trio, with phenomenal guitar solos, heavy drum intros, and the captivating vocals of Ben ‘Buddy’ Slack. However, if you are a hardcore blues fan who is into the serious and heartfelt lyrics of the genre, this might not be the best album for you.
The self-titled song lets you know from the start what you are in for; a wild story of the mythical blues legend ‘Blind Dead McJones’, full of hilarious one-liners, and backed by an abrasive soundtrack that compliments the madness of the lyrics perfectly. This track takes you on a journey through Blind Dead McJones’ life beginning at his birth, similarly to George Thorogood’s ‘Bad To The Bone’. However, like the rest of the album, when you think you know which direction the song is leading you, The Blind Dead McJones Band spins you around, leaving you disoriented with lyrics such as: “When my daughter lost her virginity / I went out and I got it back”. This song sets the tone perfectly for the next 10 tracks on the album.
‘Hang On There Boys’ has an intro reminiscent of classic 1980s punk, however we’re quickly led into another classic blues type song, still surrounded by the unique sound of the band. This energetic, and oddly captivating tune, leads straight to the ballad of the album ‘B3D’. While the lyrics in this song are no different from others in the album with hints of satire and mockery, it perfectly succeeds in creating one of the most chilling and memorable tracks on the album, with a story of good vs. evil being told in Slack’s hypnotic voice.
The band then goes into the conflicting ‘Try Some Wrong’, with a stunning 40 second guitar introduction, and the tone of lead singer Slack’s vocals ever-change from smooth to croaky, and oddly alluring. The album continues with the audacious tone set from the beginning with tracks such as ‘BOOBZ’ and the title track ‘Last Resort Mexico’, drawing this chapter of the story of Blind Dead McJones to an end. The album closes with a live performance of ‘Wolf Howl’ with the addition of a keyboard, harmonica, saxophone, another guitar, and Slack saying: “We’re gonna get funky now” leading into a keyboard slide. It’s a fast paced energetic song, with elements of jazz and funk, along with the expected blues formula. This track is the perfect way to end the journey led by the inimitable, The Blind Dead McJones Band.”
Francesca Fortunato, Soundsphere Magazine – http://www.soundspheremag.com/reviews/cd/cd-review-the-blind-dead-mcjones-band-last-resort-mexico/
“The Blind Dead McJones band have a sense of humor. It’s important to understand this when you dive into their music. It’s a surreal and slightly deranged sense of humor, but it informs all that the band do, musically, lyrically and even the liner notes. The whole enterprise is wrapped up in the mythical story of an absentee band leader, Mr McJones himself, who rarely, if ever turns up for a gig, and sends instructions from wherever he’s currently holed up. It could be said that this is somewhat of a concept album, but the majority of those are wrapped up in a fog of self importance, something that this record lacks.
It opens up in fine old style, with a swagger that continues throughout the piece. The opener also sets the mood for the eclectic and original arrangements that make up the albums musical personality, with a jungle drum rhythm and dark distorted guitar working well with gritty vocals and a thumping middy bass tone. Things could definitely be called original, like a raw Tom Waits crossbred with George Thoghrogood in a Cream-like power trio, the sound is definitely atypical of the current crop of British blues bands and the songs are as individual as the music. It’s all achieved without the appearance of trying too hard too, the record’s raw, live feel suits the material, giving it all an edge of chaos while enhancing the tight dynamic feel of a band that work well together live.
This isn’t going to be a record that does much for the real blues purists out there, sharing, as it does, more with Cream or Jimi Hendrix than with Muddy or the Wolf, though the influence of the early masters is definitely present, just as it was in the music of the 60’s innovators. From the first songs lyrical exhortations that the legendary Mr McJones is bigger, better, stronger, more than anyone’s parallels with Who Do You Love to deals with the devil over a used up soul, this is a band that know where they come from musically. They also understand that they are in the now, and aren’t stuck in a past, imagined, Shangri-La. After all, it’s not many a blues band that will name check MC Hammer in a song.
It’s not a perfect record, but it is very good, stunning high points like Elephant on a Lead easily outweigh the production that can favor the bass a little too much or the occasional moments where the vocals could do with more polish. It’s a good thing to hear a British band trying something out of the ordinary, especially on a debut, and the passion and fire with which it is delivered are incendiary. I’d recommend that anyone looking for a little something outside of by the book blues rock but still not utterly traditional blues gets their hands on a copy. I’m certain that Blind Dead McJones would agree with me too, wherever he is.”
Ian McHugh, “Blues is The Truth” – http://tonemonkey.tumblr.com/post/37922959627/the-blind-dead-mcjones-band-last-resort-mexico