Jane's Addiction: Kettle Whistle

Jane's Addiction: Kettle Whistle

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Jane's Addiction

Album: Kettle Whistle
Label: Warner Bros.

There's no denying the influence and cultural significance of Jane's Addiction, from its two remarkable studio albums (1988's Nothing's Shocking, 1990's Ritual De Lo Habitual) to frontman Perry Farrell's founding and subsequent headlining of the Lollapalooza festival in 1991. But as of late 1997, the no-longer-defunct band's impact has been dulled: Imitators abound and Farrell's two albums with Porno For Pyros run from fair to middling, with 1996's Good God's Urge offering few highlights. The past few years have brought about the painful de-evolution of Lollapalooza into an ever-more-bastardized parody of its former self (Tool? Korn?), and even Farrell seems like something of a caricature these days. That said, Jane's Addiction is back, of course, with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea assuming bass duties. Its first release is Kettle Whistle, a spotty mish-mash with two new tracks, a few leftover outtakes and demos, and a bunch of old live tracks. The juxtaposition of old and new doesn't illustrate a bright future for the reformed Jane's Addiction: Next to the 1988 demo of "Ocean Size" and 1991's steel-drum-enhanced live version of "Jane Says," the new "So What!" and eight-minute, go-nowhere title track sound pretty tepid. The album as a whole, like all Jane's Addiction material, has its moments of both anthemic glory (1986's "Mountain Song") and dippy pretentiousness (1987's "My Cat's Name Is Maceo"), but Kettle Whistle probably won't leave most fans optimistic about future releases.