Rolling Stone (12/29/94-1/12/95, p.181) - "...With second guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins...[Spencer] wails fractured postmodern bluesoid stuff that's as weird, fun and spooky as original blues-dripping rockabilly."Entertainment Weekly (11/25/94, p.77) - "...New Yorker Spencer and his two bandmates jam like it's blues night in the psych ward....The resulting cross between rock and insanity can be thrilling in its fervency..."- Rating: BQ (10/94, p.126) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Blues Explosion manage to work on entertaining, lurching variations on the power trio format with Spencer himself exhibiting a hectoring deference to both Mark E. Smith and Jerry Lee Lewis..."Alternative Press (12/94, p.86) - "...ORANGE is an ambitious, well-executed release that shows growth while still shaking some action..."Option (3-4/95, p.135) - "...the third official Blues Explosion album peppers its scrungy, bar-based blues with funk, rockabilly, disco, Stax soul, several Elvis shudders, a bit o'white noise, and Beck's infamous phoned-in guest rap....More importantly, it works..."Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #16 in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.Billboard (p.36) - "Fast, punky and laced with nods to the sounds of the '70s..."Mojo (Publisher) (p.58) - Ranked #68 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Beefheart, Stax, James Brown: all get stomped under the Cuban heel of Russell Simins' monster beat."Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "ORANGE was the blues as heard from the streets of Manhattan, post-Public Enemy, punk rock and all that other New York noise."NME (Magazine) (12/24/94, p.22) - Ranked #16 in NME's list of the `Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'Pitchfork (Website) - "The Blues Explosion were honest, organic experimenters -- fusing tons of different styles into their musical assault without compromising their ferocity or making any of it sound forced."Record Collector (magazine) (p.94) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The] balance of rough with smooth, the comic with the deadly serious, was perfect."
Spin (p.120) - "Time and practice have made them a far more straightforward rock band..."Uncut (p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[The] further broaden their sound, which embraces Stax-style soul, nuggety funk and gruff, politicized rap with equal enthusiasm. More variety in their blues, certainly, but no less vigour."Magnet (p.93) - "DAMAGE runs through classic Blues Explosion moves on the title track but ventures quickly and assuredly into a horn-heavy instrumental, a punchy, funky and glitchy excursion featuring sax by James Chance..."CMJ (p.12) - "DJ Shadow squelches a 9/8 vamp while James Chance unleashes unholy sax skronk..."Mojo (Publisher) (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 - "As overdriven and mutated a nose as ever they've managed, DAMAGE! also retains Blues Explosion's trademark sweat-drenched feel for soul..."
Rolling Stone (10/3/96, p.72) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...NOW I GOT WORRY finds the Blues Explosion...stripping down to basics. Spencer and the band eschew the hip-hop influences that came to a head on 1994's ORANGE, opting instead for a more gutbucket approach..."Spin (11/96, pp.121-122) - 7 (out of 10) - "...retreats from the promising, wiggy pomo melange of 1994's ORANGE in favor of garage raunch....there's no confusing the deft simplicity of Spencer's current riff-conjuring with the nascent primitivism of his band's debut CRYPT STYLE..."Q (11/96, p.136) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...This album...is the trio's most unapologetic yet, with screeching dementia through broken-down amps, speed railroad blues and barely decipherable lyrics..."Alternative Press (12/96, p.80) - 5 (out of 5) - "...JSBX have made an album that not only honors the raw, spontaneous emotionalism of the music that inspires them...but also done so without aping them mindlessly or attempting revision..."Vibe (3/97, p.140) - "...New York City punk rockers the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion mine the Mississippi Delta for the secrets of its soil..."Melody Maker (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #11 on Melody Maker's list of 1996's "Albums Of The Year."Melody Maker (9/28/96, p.48) - Recommended - "...Everything's under control, everything's allowed room to breathe. Not a note, not a beat is wasted. There are continual explosions of noise; drums roll, and guitars scrape in glorious monotony....a replica, sure. But it's so damn EXCITING!"Musician (1/97, p.85) - "...continues to smash funk backbeats, blues cliches, and sleazy slide guitar work against a wall of (literally) screaming punk mania....Ludicrous and excessive, the style works--mainly because it just plain rocks....Rackety, impolite, compulsively rhythmic, and funny as hell..."Village Voice (2/25/97) - Ranked #39 in the Village Voice's 1996 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] Spencer howling distorted blues moans over white noise and eerie harmonies..."Pitchfork (Website) - "[H]ere the abrupt breakbeat edits and dubby textures feel less like tentative dabbles and more like strategic devices used to better convey the songs' anxious energy."
Q (4/00, p.115) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...a unique cross-fertilization of British beat group blues with the abrasive Detroit power of The Stooges and MC5....touting howled vocals over bass-less proto R&B..."Alternative Press (7/95, p.104) - Ranked #88 in AP's list of the `Top 99 of '85-'95' - "...The groove from Jon Spencer comes from a possession of spirit and soul. There is enough rock 'n' roll there to hold on to but its presence is neither the purpose nor the goal. It's heavy like a hammer and sassy with organ..."Option (9-10/93, p.127) - "...like Mick Jagger and David Johansen before him, Spencer mines all the appropriate blues and soul men, from John Lee Hooker to Al Green. Unlike those, he ain't making a lot of tokens doing it..."Melody Maker (9/25/93, p.34) - "...Jon Spencer plough[s] an even more maverick furrow than before....[EXTRA WIDTH] is a great row....One of the best records in months..."Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's stewed in funk and soul....Spencer played sinful loverman, his lycanthrope snarl drenched in slapback reverb, sounding gargantuan."NME (Magazine) (9/4/93, p.30) - "...EXTRA WIDTH throws it all up...our Jon is willing to regurgitate 40 years' worth [of rock] any damn way he pleases..."Uncut (magazine) (p.103) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Bass-less, earnest, witty and fierce, the Blues Explosion mashed blues, rock, soul and punk on this 1993 breakthrough."