- Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Jon Spencer, Judah Bauer (vocals, guitar); Russell Simins (drums).
- Additional personnel: Rufus Thomas (vocals); Justin Berry (saxophone); Mark Ramos-Nishita (piano, Clavinet, organ); Thermos Malling.
- Engineers include: Mario Caldato, Jr., Doug Easley, Jim Waters.
- Recorded at Easley Studio, Memphis, Tennessee; G-Son, Los Angeles, California; and Waterworks West, Tucson, Arizona.
- The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion were one of the most viscerally exciting indie rock acts of the 1990s, but making their blast of frantic energy work in the studio was sometimes a challenge if you were going for anything more than sheer gutbucket stomp. On Orange and Acme, JSBX used strings, hip-hop beats, and various production niceties to add texture to the two-guitar-and-drums onslaught, but with Now I Got Worry, they moved forward into the past with the fiercest and most elemental set they'd released since Crypt Style. Now I Got Worry kicks off with Spencer screaming his head off while Russell Simins lays down a funky, muscular backbeat, and that sets the tone for what follows; the album plays at full-blast from beginning to end, even when the tempo shifts and the band eases back a bit in the name of dynamics. The blast-furnace tone is consistent, but the approach jumps from cut to cut, as JSBX tackle proto-hardcore on "Identify," shift into country-blues mode on "Rocketship," party with Rufus Thomas on "Chicken Dog," lay into a punishingly funky groove on "R.L. Got Soul," and wander through a pool of drug-addled dub on "Fuck Shit Up." But, ultimately, extremity is the point on Now I Got Worry, and even when it seems relatively gentle, it's never subtle; the production (mostly by Jim Waters) isn't afraid to push the music into the red zone, and Spencer's fearsome vocal wail, the attack of Spencer and Judah Bauer's guitars, and Simins' relentless drumming connect with the force of a fist into the solar plexus. Now I Got Worry may not be JSBX's best album, but it does capture their taut, blazing, live sound and their eccentric studio approach with a better balance than anything else in their catalog; if you want to get slapped upside the head while you boogie all night long, this is the album for you. ~ Mark Deming
Rolling Stone (10/3/96, p.72) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...NOW I GOT WORRY finds the Blues Explosion...stripping down to basics. Spencer and the band eschew the hip-hop influences that came to a head on 1994's ORANGE, opting instead for a more gutbucket approach..."
Spin (11/96, pp.121-122) - 7 (out of 10) - "...retreats from the promising, wiggy pomo melange of 1994's ORANGE in favor of garage raunch....there's no confusing the deft simplicity of Spencer's current riff-conjuring with the nascent primitivism of his band's debut CRYPT STYLE..."
Q (11/96, p.136) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...This album...is the trio's most unapologetic yet, with screeching dementia through broken-down amps, speed railroad blues and barely decipherable lyrics..."
Alternative Press (12/96, p.80) - 5 (out of 5) - "...JSBX have made an album that not only honors the raw, spontaneous emotionalism of the music that inspires them...but also done so without aping them mindlessly or attempting revision..."
Vibe (3/97, p.140) - "...New York City punk rockers the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion mine the Mississippi Delta for the secrets of its soil..."
Melody Maker (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #11 on Melody Maker's list of 1996's "Albums Of The Year."
Melody Maker (9/28/96, p.48) - Recommended - "...Everything's under control, everything's allowed room to breathe. Not a note, not a beat is wasted. There are continual explosions of noise; drums roll, and guitars scrape in glorious monotony....a replica, sure. But it's so damn EXCITING!"
Musician (1/97, p.85) - "...continues to smash funk backbeats, blues cliches, and sleazy slide guitar work against a wall of (literally) screaming punk mania....Ludicrous and excessive, the style works--mainly because it just plain rocks....Rackety, impolite, compulsively rhythmic, and funny as hell..."
Village Voice (2/25/97) - Ranked #39 in the Village Voice's 1996 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] Spencer howling distorted blues moans over white noise and eerie harmonies..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[H]ere the abrupt breakbeat edits and dubby textures feel less like tentative dabbles and more like strategic devices used to better convey the songs' anxious energy."