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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Jesu
Jesu
Hydra Head Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 5, 2005
Justin Broadrick is a musician so difficult to ascertain, his projects are often ignored within the mainstream. Having fronted the astounding Godflesh, the predacious anger of Napalm Death and the excruciating hip hop-oriented Techno Animal, the man has nevertheless made himself a name among the out-of-the-centre media circles. Praised by his dark ambiences and deathly discharges of industrial detritus that his records imprison, Broadrick has managed to add a horizontal, plain dimension to sombre music.

But the jury is still out on fluid-as-running-water guitar 'n' strum albums. Jesu is definitely not the one and the title is once again up for grabs. This new project's debut - the Birmingham UK native's new incarnation is also called Jesu - is a sutured noisebox that frightens when serving as background ambience. Sometimes reminiscent of the sound the mechanic's drill makes, these songs strive to alchemize beauty from malice. To a great extent, I should add.

The inaugural track, "Your Path to Divinity", unleashes a torrent of guitar mantra penetrated by the pounding drumming of Ted Parsons - who has worked with the Swans and Prong, and is like the cement holding the adnominal bricks together. As the record stretches further, the vibe is absent to free some room to elated recurrences of slow chaotic delusions. Aggravated by layered puddles of monolithic atrophy, "Tired of Me" is the reason why Trent Reznor taught Marylin Manson how to breathe, whereas Broadrick inspired artists from the likes of Ministry and Neurosis.

Following the demise of Godflesh in 2002, Justin thought it was about time to add just another item to his ongoing curriculum and released the Heart Ache EP last year. Jesu is a different cup of tea, though. Lasting for one hour and a quarter of odd dynamics, it is like attending a trial where you are convicted of murder and released by the end of the record. Nobody was killed in the process and you were victim of a looming scheme. If you decide to go back and face the court staff again, you do that at your own risk.

It may sound hard as a rock but is way more challenging than the stalled dichotomies of hit-hard but-not-that-hard pasted onto the common hard rock nugget. All in all, this is hard because it plays dice with your mind, and leaves you trapped inside micro worlds of sonic deluge, as in tracks like "We All Faulter" and "Guardian Angel". A titanic struggle between God and the Devil takes place here. The Devil obviously wins, but is then butchered by some sort of angel of death.

Jesu is a slaughterhouse soundtrack, but one where death happens at slow motion - which makes the record all the more disturbing. And well, maybe this imagery is not that accurate but it is entirely suggested by the repeated rerun of the album. At its best, it has the power to prevent you from falling asleep as if you were watching a late-night History Channel draft on Pol Pot. It brings your blood pressure to a halt, evolving from that point to hit you right in your make up-covered face.

Disclaimer: this is strongly inappropriate for those suffering from heart problems. All others, please rejoice!

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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