Jane's Addiction, "The Great Escape Artist" (Capitol)
On their first new album since 2003, Jane's Addiction wants to remind you that they can still rock your head off.
The band — which added bassist and songwriter Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio) to its original lineup of frontman Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins — opens "The Great Escape Artist" with a track that thumps with such driving drums and bass, your stereo speakers will beg for mercy.
"We're all hustlers," Farrell declares on the opening song "Underground," which pays homage to Jane's independent roots. "I've missed you all heaps and I've replanted my feet back in the underground," he sings, as Navarro's snarling guitar punctuates the sentiment.
The band sought to stretch itself on its fourth album by adding Sitek and experimenting with new sounds, some of which can be heard on "End to the Lies." The defiant, psychedelic track is enhanced by the Master Musicians of Joujouka, Sufi musicians who contributed unique reed, pipe and percussion sounds from their mountainside schoolhouse near Morocco.
The 10 tracks on "Great Escape" recall the Jane's Addiction you remember — the Los Angeles quartet that blended ambling bass lines with blistering rock — plus 20 more years of musical maturity.
"Broken People," a sad song with shimmering guitars reminiscent of "Classic Girl" from 1990's "Ritual de lo Habitual," reflects the perspective of age.
"Welcome to the aching world," Farrell sings. "A woeful world of broken people."
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: Farrell says birds in the trees want to steal his words in "Words Right Out Of My Mouth," a guitar-driven rocker that makes you glad they didn't.