A horrible hack

Jesu

Heart Ache / Dethroned

Year Released: 2010
Format: 2xLP
Label: Hydra Head
 
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Jan 29, 2011
Jesu get a review every now and then on Collective and it's about the right time for a new one. This release finally puts the band's first main release, Heart Ache, on vinyl, along with the even earlier but less widely distributed Dethroned EP. The result is a package via Hydrahead as impressive as ever; a sturdy gatefold sleeve with two thick pieces of vinyl and trademark semi-bleak artwork. I call them a band; these first lot of recordings contain Justin Broaderick playing all instruments and responsible for all songwriting.

I'll skip reviewing Heart Ache as Alex Deller did a fine job of this in 2004. I fell in love with Jesu after hearing that EP and have bought everything the band have put out since. I find that each has been a worthwhile purchase (even the slightly dissapointing one track record Infinity) and the music differs so much from anything else in my collection; this truly appears to be pioneering music combining layered sludge with melodic post-rock with truly outstanding effect laden sung vocals over the top. It doesn't seem to work live, but when recorded it is mindblowing.

The first song on Dethroned is a perfect start to the EP, it's amazing that these were the first songs Justin recorded as it's top notch from the very start (I have read that actually Justin has modified Dethroned for this release; I wonder by how much). Jesu's trademark sound is apparent straight away - loud and heavy multilayered guitars, often alongside some sort of ambience. Then the vocals come in, sounding like a robot sweetly seranading a loved one, though the reality is that the lyrics are much more gloomy, seemingly displaying a battle with inadequacy and frustration. The structure of the songs are similar - all fairly simple and repetitive - but that's half the beauty of it. I'll never get into Godflesh but Jesu hit all the right notes for me and can seemingly do no wrong.

29th January 2011
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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