We should be glad that instead of simply pursuing litigation against the Black Keys for Grand Theft Style, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion instead produced an album of their own as a retort. A pretty good album, too, with Return To Form™ stamped all over it and a sound that slots it neatly in between everyone’s favourites, Now I Got Worry and Orange. If you don’t think this was intentional, note the inclusion of a song based on the riff from “Bell Bottoms”, this time called “Boot Cut”.
For those interested in a little JSBX bingo, pull out your cards, listen to Meat & Bone and see how many of these old chestnuts and calling cards you can hear:
“Yayuh! Do it!”
“Do the Monkey!”
“Get up! Get down!”
“Sock it to me”
“Got to get it!”
Don’t bother, actually. Everybody wins, ‘cos they’re all there in a sort of “Plastic Fang never-happened” mash-up. It’s very tightly wound and delivered with a trashy sound mix that likely took forever to make it sound so off-the-cuff.
While the jury’s still out as to whether Meat & Bone is a genuine back-to-basics approach or a designed-by-committee appeal to purists, it’s an ass-kicker of a daytime commute record. It does its thing with aplomb, and it would be churlish not to enjoy the results. 7.5 out of 10