JJUUJJUU's "Zionic Mud" Blows Up Everything You Think Psych Rock Sounds Like
Listen to the title track from the Desert Daze mastermind's debut album and its tandem remix from Warpaint's Jennylee.
JJUUJJUU has been a SoCal scene staple for a minute now, helping keep psych rock properly weird with its droning, crevice-filling jams (when the project's founder, Phil Pirrone, isn't busy organizing the strange and glorious trip that is Desert Daze).
At last, JJUUJJUU is gearing up to release its long-awaited debut album, Zionic Mud, on April 13 via Dine Alone Records. The record was put together over the course of several years through desert recording sessions with collaborators Vinyl Williams, Jeffertitti, and Mason Rothschild of Fever the Ghost, and the result is accordingly expansive—an inversion of everything you think psych rock is supposed to sound like, with crisp, skeletal rhythms and thick melodic processing that veers into electronic and experimental heaviness. It's :::Austin Powers voice::: very psychedelic, baby, in the most deliciously platonic sense of the word.
The release itself accordingly veers off path, with each track paired with a reimagining from the likes of Liars, METZ, and Warpaint's Jennylee.
Today, Noisey is pleased to premiere the album's title track and Jennylee's dark, digitally burnt out partner remix. Here's what Pirrone had to tell us about it:
"Zionic Mud" is the one track on the record that didn't start in a bedroom with a loop pedal. It was written in the practice space in a very collaborative way - Mason brought in a bass line, and the drums and guitars as you hear them on the recording are the first thing either of us played around the initial riff. The whole process was very fast and exciting, and this track marks the time when JJUUJJUU was no longer a duo - it really started to feel like a group at that point.
All of my lyrics are sung first and written down later, so sometimes it takes me a minute to realize what they are about, and sometimes that changes the longer I sit with a song, but lyrically, "Zionic Mud" seems to be about the process of trusting people and being let down in a working relationship. A process that any adult goes through - finding someone to create with, or to do a job, then being let down by them; the process of wondering if they aren't doing their job, or if you're not doing your job, or if it's some combination of the two (or neither) - and the latter doesn't even occur to you as an option for a while. I guess this is in the context of the music industry because that's what I know. We're all just looking for someone sane and reliable to collaborate with or depend on, but sadly, this industry attracts a lot of jokers with drug and/or personality problems who are making it up as they go. "Zionic Mud" is about them and me, and all of us working together, and hoping we're getting better.
Listen to the premiere of JJUUJJUU's "Zionic Mud" and Jennylee's remix below.
3/23 St Louis, MO Blueberry Hill ^
3/24 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle ^
3/25 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle ^
4/26 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger §
4/27 Austin, TX Levitation @ Empire Control Room ~
5/1 Dallas, TX Canton Hall #
5/3 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall #
5/4 Santa Fe, NM Meow Wolf #
5/5 Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren •
5/6 San Diego, CA House of Blues #
5/8 San Francisco, CA Warfield #
5/10 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom #
5/11 Seattle, WA Neptune #
5/12 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom #
5/15 Santa Barbara, CA SoHo #
5/16 Tijuana, MX Black Box #
5/17 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern #
5/18 San Luis Obispo, CA Fremont Theater +
5/19 Santa Cruz CA The Catalyst +
6/5 Columbus, OH Express Live! Outdoor Amphitheatre ∞
6/6 Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island ∞
6/8 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE Outdoors ∞
6/9 Sterling Heights, MI Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill ∞
6/10 Indianapolis, IN Farmer’s Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park ∞
6/12 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion ∞
6/14 St Paul, MN Myth Live Event Center ∞
6/15 Bonner Springs, KS Providence Medical Center Amphitheater ∞
6/16 Camdenton, MO Ozark Amphitheater ∞
6/18 Lincoln, NE Pinewood Bowl ∞
6/21 Bonner, MT Kettlehouse Amphitheater ∞
6/22 Redmond, WA Marymoor Park ∞
6/23 Bend, OR Le Schwab Amphitheater ∞
6/25 Troutdale, OR Edgefield ∞
6/26 Jacksonville, OR Britt Pavilion ∞
6/28 Avila Beach, CA Avila Beach Resort Amphitheater ∞
6/29 Berkley, CA Greek Theatre ∞
6/30 Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino ∞
7/2 Magna, UT The Great Salt Air ∞
7/3 Las Vegas, NV Downtown Event Center ∞
7/5 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre ∞
7/6 San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre ∞
7/7 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre ∞
^ = w/ Earthless, Kikagaku Moyo
§ = w/ DIIV
~ = Desert Daze Caravan II w/ Ariel Pink, DIIV, Nick Hakim, SUUNS, L.A. Witch
# = Desert Daze Caravan II w/ Ariel Pink, DIIV, Nick Hakim, SUUNS
• = Desert Daze Caravan II w/ Ariel Pink, DIIV, Nick Hakim, Acid Mothers Temple, SUUNS
+ = Desert Daze Caravan II w/ Ariel Pink, DIIV, Nick Hakim
∞ = w/ Primus, Mastodon
Andrea Domanick is Noisey's West Coast Editor. Follow her on Twitter.