Napalm Springsby Butterfly Jones
When a band breaks up and its ex-members form new bands, it is always interesting to see if the new band embraces something totally different or becomes, in effect, a continuation of the old band. For John Lydon, Public Image was a total departure from the Sex Pistols. And Big Audio Dynamite, the outfit that Mick Jones co-founded after getting fired from the Clash, was hardly a carbon copy of his former band. But on the other hand, the Foo Fighters were not a radical departure from Dave Grohl's former band Nirvana. And similarly, Butterfly Jones pretty much picks up where dada left off. This Los Angeles-based combo boasts two-thirds of dada -- Michael Gurley is on lead vocals and guitar, Phil Leavitt on drums and percussion -- and its debut album, Napalm Springs, is very likeminded. Like dada, Butterfly Jones favors a melodic, polished style of alternative rock that is quite mindful of the psychedelic rock and guitar pop of the 1960s and 1970s. The Beatles, Badfinger, and the Rolling Stones are prominent influences, and Gurley's vocals have a Mick Jagger-ish quality (which isn't to say that he is an outright clone of the Stones' long-time singer). Butterfly Jones isn't the only alterna-rock outfit that has psychedelic and British Invasion influences, but unlike other alterna-rockers who admire rock's Baby Boomer era, this band doesn't try to be cute or ironic. Rather, Butterfly Jones comes across as organic and sincere -- not contrived -- on melodic, neo-psychedelic tracks like "Suicide Bridge" and "Blue Roses." By 2001 standards, this CD is hardly innovative. But while Napalm Springs is never groundbreaking, the writing is consistent and solid. Anyone who was a fan of dada will also find a lot to enjoy about this pleasing, if derivative, effort.
- Release Date:
- Vanguard Records
Performance CreditsButterfly Jones Primary Artist
Scott Gordon Harmonica,Percussion,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Hand Clapping,Sampling,Sounds
Michael Gurley Bass,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Hand Clapping,Vibes,Wurlitzer
Mark Hart Organ,Conductor,Hammond Organ
Peter Kent Violin
Hank Linderman Acoustic Guitar
Tom Miller Hand Clapping
Chris Wagner Bass
John Yoakum Oboe
Mark de Gli Antoni Organ,Mellotron,Sampled Keyboards
Phil Leavitt Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Sampling,talking drum,Wurlitzer,Sounds
Joie Calio Background Vocals
Julie Ritter Vocals
Share Ross Vocals
Barbara Gordon Background Vocals
Mark Harris Bass
Crosby Tyler Background Vocals
Technical CreditsScott Gordon Producer,Engineer
Michael Gurley Producer,Oboe Arrangement
Philip Steir Producer
Phil Leavitt Producer
Peter Figen Digital Enhancement
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This album has everything from fast rocking tunes to slow mellow ballads. This is not your lil' sister's bubble gum pop. The songs have smart lyrics written about real issues. The songs make you feel better about being a person! This is full force straight-on rock that will change the way you listen to music!
As a fan of Dada back in the day, I was excited when a friend told me that two of the former members had started a new band. Ex-Dada front man Michael Gurley and drummer Phil Leavitt are the core of the band Butterfly Jones, and to their credit, they definitely show growth with the new project. Butterfly Jones can easily compete with the Goo Goo Dolls and Sugar Rays of the world. ¿Napalm Springs¿ combines a melodic modern pop/rock sound with Beatle-esque harmonies and psychedelic guitars. It was produced by Scott Gordon who has also worked with huge stars like Alanis Morissette and Aerosmith, so the album has a catchy, radio-friendly sound. ¿Suicide Bridge (Winds of Change)¿ and ¿Anywhere But Now¿ have quickly become two of my favorite tracks. Listeners shouldn¿t expect Butterfly Jones to be another Dada - they have their own distinct sound, but it is one that will appeal to a broad audience.
Those who have gone into dada withdrawal can now find their cravings appeased, if not completely satisfied with the release of Butterfly Jones. Their wonderful debut album, Napalm Springs, is filled with a mixture of psychedelic pop melodies, subtle rock rhythms and soul-searching lyrics. Though the album lacks some of the hard edge that fans so loved in dada's four releases, this album unites Michael Gurley and Phil Leavitt in musical harmony. For those listeners truly missing the music of dada, two out of three is very much better than nothing! While many of the Butterfly Jones songs have the same sound as dada albums, most songs are brought down a few notches. Indeed this is something to be happy about. There is not one song on the album that isn't an absolute joy to listen to. In fact, most listeners will find themselves singing along to the songs, even humming the catchy tunes long after hearing them. The songs on this masterful album seem perfectly suited to the radio. That is not to say that the songs are by any means shallow. Lyrically, the songs reach the same intellectual depths as songs by dada, touching upon lost love and life's disappointments. The standouts of the album, in my opinion, are ''The Systematic Dumbing Down of Terry Constance Jones'' and ''Are We In Love Again''. ''The Systematic Dumbing Down of Terry Constance Jones'' really touches upon the problems that the overflow of media is causing the rest of society. The witty lyrics are highlighted by the masterful harmonies of Mike Gurley and Julie Ritter. ''Are We In Love Again'' is an infectious, yet heartfelt tune that definitely belongs on the radio. The lyrics of all the songs address issues that all listeners will be able to relate to. This may not be dada, but right now, it's as close as anyone can get. Butterfly Jones offers listeners an opportunity to quench their dada thirst while mellowing out to the groovy and certainly more pop-oriented style of Mike Gurley. If you don't already have this CD, you should get a copy as soon as humanly possible.
The comparisons are inevitable. Butterfly Jones' Michael Gurley and Phil Leavitt may not like it, but any fan of their previous band, dada, is bound to judge Napalm Springs, the Butterfly Jones debut, by the dada standards. I am one of those fans, and when I listen to this disc, two things come to mind. The first is, ''Wow!'' The second is, ''Wow! This disc is just as good as any dada cd.'' Continuing in a vein similar to the last dada disc, ''dada'', Napalm Springs is alt-rock with a pop bent. Save for absence of Joie Calio (except as back-up vocalist on the song ''Sophie''), Napalm Springs sounds, in fact, like a new dada cd. Gurley and Leavitt may not like that, either, but hey, I call it as I hear it. As for the songs, it's all there: catchy melodies, blazing guitar, rock hard rhythms and beautiful ballads. My first thought when I heard dada lo those many years ago was that they sounded like the Beatles with Jimi Hendrix playing guitar, and that holds true for Butterfly Jones. Maybe even more so, with a lot of the songs possessing a sort of acid-tinged Brit-pop psychedelicality. Whoa, that was sure a mouthful of music-critic gobbledygook. Maybe I should look into this as a career. Is psychedelicality even a word? The bottom line is, Napalm Springs is a fantastic listen. It rocks (Napalm Springs), rocks harder (Alright) and has moments of quiet, jaw-dropping beauty (Wonder). The clever lyrics that dada was known for are also here in abundance, particularly on Are We in Love Again and The Systematic Dumbing Down of Terry Constance Jones, in which Mr. Gurley gets in touch with his feminine side via the title character and finds that being a girl is just a little bit tougher than sugar and spice and everything nice. Napalm Springs is one tourist attraction that is well worth the price of admission.