Jesu EP reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Dec 4, 2007, 13:04
JESU Lifeline EP
Remember when that one band that you liked broke up? Mild consolation came when word came that some of the members would reform into something completely new. There's Danzig, Page and Plant, Zwan, Slash's Snake Pitâ€¦there's a pattern here and it needs no explanation. Industrial metal pioneers Godflesh usurped themselves and thus came Jesu, the outlet for one Justin Broadrick who did most of the guitars/programming for the aforementioned noisy bang-bangers. As Jesu, he sails and skims and just lets it go where the wind takes himâ€¦
Often described as “shoegaze,” “avant-garde pop,” and “post-metal,” the term boring has somehow not popped up. The title track opens this collection with a sweeping flange, some melodic picking, and late nineties whisper/mumbled vocals. Fine. Good. But is there nothing else to do with all of the expertise beneath the belt? It swirls and spins but remains stationary molding on the back shelf. There are so many puffy clouds and innocent waves carrying the song that one becomes unaware of any profound statement, or reason, dripping out of the speakers. “You Wear Their Masks” continues at nearly an identical pace and sleepy swagger. Take this cut, put it in the middle of the previous track, and call it a bridge. Then leave the room.
Thank the heavens and hells “Storm Comin' On” sounds different with Jarobe (whose work with Neurosis is something notable and name-making) taking the vocal duties. Irony plays a large part in the song as she states, “Storm's coming/you gotta move fast/you gotta go back,” as this is what the listener is already doing to escape the vacant area where an interesting backdrop should be. “End of the Road” at least distorts the guitars slightly, but it is here that one will grin from ear to ear—it's nearly over.
Having the recent opportunity to open up for legendary bore-core enthusiasts has placed Jesu on a pedestal, at least here in the States. The stigma, album art, and aura that surrounds them is parallel to that which encompasses the rest of this new crop of watered down mud that critics are hailing as an atmosphere. My friends, when the atmosphere is this murky and thick you can't breathe. Get out now and never ever listen to this with a straight face. [Hydra Head]
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