Head here to submit your own review of this album.

A return to form and then some, Jon, Judah and Russell have re-discovered the simple joys of noisy belligerence.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, at the height of their abilities, could hide an asteroid-sized chunk of genius in plain sight. Brash they were, and intelligent too; always being as much about fusion as fun. The brains of Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015 is more in its lyrics than the sounds collected. A strong vein of comment about contemporary New York City is writ large through their first record since 2012's Meat and Bone - and best since 1994.

Jon Spencer, Judah Bauer and Russell Simins have alternatively hardwired hip-hop, swampy blues, rock and rockabilly into the Blues X mainframe, delivering records that swing from hi-fi Rap Rock workouts (Orange) to more straight, self-conscious hard rock (Plastic Fang). Their heyday in the mid-nineties saw them sink hard into the groove, screaming from the rooftops that they were here to rock the party. Jon fixated on telling the whole world about their greatness, partly as a rebellion against what they saw as overly serious, morose indie rock. Back then, Jon liked his band's name so much, he spent most of the running time from classic track Bell Bottoms shouting it. Rather than coming across as arrogant it acted to posit Blues Explosion closer to NYC's greatest musical export, rap, than its greatest import, rock and roll.

Jon reined it in a jot on later records, but here he lets loose once more, harking back on opener 'Funeral to Orange's Flava', while exploring some newer territory on standout Wax Dummy. You have to conclude that Blues Explosion are best when their lead vocalist is telling everyone he is the Number 1 Blues singer in the country.

1994's high water mark Orange casts a long shadow, representing the point at which the Blues Explosion really exploded into life. The 3-sided axis of motoric, funky breaks from Russell, low-down guitar from Jon and good ole boy melodic flourishes from Judah felt like a magic formula back then, and it still manages moments of transcendence here. "Who's in control? / Who's in the know? / Who's gonna help carry this heavy load?" is a good indicator of how self-referential a lot of Freedom Tower becomes, shouting back to yet another Orange track ('Brenda'), while Jon's delivery on 'Down and Out' is as close to 'Cowboy' as it can comfortably be without becoming self-parodying (which, for a band whose entire oeuvre is partly based in gentle parody anyway, would, you imagine, be two raised eyebrows too far).

Spencer introduces himself as a NYC tour guide throughout, pointing the way downtown to Union Square, East 14th Street and CBGB, and aiming spiritual nods towards Public Enemy's Long Island via Simins' 808-channeling snare work on The Ballad of Joe Buck. Rap stars of the status of Dan The Automator, DJ Shadow and Killah Priest all undertook production or remix jobs on or around Orange and Acme, during their groove-and-samples phase, and the band chuck them a fair few winks on Freedom Tower, with some chopped and changed mid-song drum mic set ups and muddy noise samples, as well as a garish bullhorn.

The result is that, after a succession of disappointing pastiches, the boys have gone back to the good old days, and reawakened a three-headed monster.

This is the place you'll find reviews from 405 Readers. To join in, head here.