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Jesu | review | rock | Lollipop


(Hydra Head)
By Tim Den

How appropriate that Hydra Head, a label that basically built its identity on the trail that ex-Napalm Death/ex-Godflesh mastermind Justin Broadrick blazed, is releasing Jesu. Broadrick's first "real" outfit since the demise of the Giant G, Jesu promises to fuse ethereal ambience with crushing doom noise. Where do you think Neurosis and Isis got the idea?

Like stars shimmering beneath industrial smoke, Jesu's first full-length buries luminous harmony in layers of droning distortion, shoegazer tempos, sledgehammer drums, and almost meditative motives. Moving at a tortoise's pace, impressions and visceral reactions are dragged out of the listener with each of the refrain's ssslllooowww repetitions. Each strengthens the message further, invoking understanding out of human ears. Like Godflesh's best work (Streetcleaner and Merciless), the first time you hear the "songs," you remember some of the beats. The second time, you remember the way they make you feel. The third and fourth time, you can no longer pinpoint what exactly is happening to your aural perception and mental state. The music has entered your very being like an ominous poison cloud, seeping into your pores, even as you watch it drift at such low speeds. Perhaps it's this lack of motion that makes the utter domination it holds over you so astounding. How can something so seemingly passive conquer so much? How can something so seemingly monotonous reveal shade after shade? Therein lies Broadrick's uniqueness: Because it's from Justin Broadrick. The man has effortlessly led an entire genre for almost two decades for good reason. Jesu only cements the fact that better things are yet to come.

Jesu is a blanket. It's a body snatcher. It's Zen made into sound. It's My Bloody Valentine's fractured bliss sexually ravaged in a beautiful union by Godflesh. It's... an incredible being.

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