Album Review: Jesu - "Conqueror"
I seem to have reached a point in my life where I'm comfortable enjoying the indie rock I learned to love in college as well as the fuzzed-out, pedal-stomping grunge I loved in high school. In high school my favorite bands were basically the ones with the crunchiest, most drop-tuned guitars. I loved Hum, I loved Nirvana's early work (I remember sitting listening to "Sliver" for hours on end, I remember exactly how the carpet felt, pressing against my face while I laid there, transfixed), I loved Jawbox. The new Jesu album (Jesu is Justin Broadrick, former guitarist of Napalm Death) is lighter, in ways, than anything he has done before. It's abysmal yet poppy. I listen to it and, if I ignore the demonic swirling keyboards in the background and pretend that the crunchy guitars are acoustic, it could be as influenced by the Beach Boys as anything. It's hooky, hummable, and catchy - in short, it's nothing I had expected. BUT. It's still 99% dropped-"D" tuning, and fuzzier than a muppet baby. In short, it sounds like Hum. And god almighty, I loved Hum.
Justin's lyrics seem more druggy than ever (or maybe more enlightened, and I'm just less evolved than he). "Conqueror," the aforementioned new album, boasts several songs that have only a few words over the course of 8-10 minutes. The title track, for example, basically repeats "The colors...will always be with us" for the majority of 8 minutes.
If you have iTunes and you like ambitious metal, download "Conqueror." At least try the title track. It's eight minutes of what doom metal could be if it could only stop taking itself so goddamned seriously and learn to appreciate the value of basic song structure. It's doom with hooks. And that's pretty much what I have been waiting for.