Archive for the Jesu Category

Head of David – Dustbowl (Blast First) 1989

Posted in Head of David, Jesu, Music with tags , on October 12, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

As a teenager I  used to save my money all year to go and spend it all in one hit on vinyl over the Christmas holidays at an indie record shop 1500 km’s away from where I lived. The shopping expedition took some planning. I had myself a list culled from reviews I’d read in RAM, NME and the offerings of various mail order catalogues. One of the beast catalogues was the Blast First one which had all of the latest releases by BigBlack, Sonic Youth, UT, Butthole Surfers, Rapeman, Big Stick, Dinosaur Jr – it was one hell of a label – and I managed to methodically  track down most of those records. I’ll be honest I fetishised those releases in a very unhealthy way. But there were two bands whose records I never managed to track down – Band of Susans and Head of David.  Fast forward – university, career, relationship, house and kids and I’ve finally managed to track down a copy of Dustbowl. Although I didn’t know this at the time, and it wouldn’t have meant anything to me anyway, Head of David was the band that Justin Broadrick joined after Napalm Death and before Godflesh. I’ve never been a huge fan of Broadrick’s other work but this is just tremendous. The majority of the bands on Blast First were American but Head of David and AC Temple were (I think) the only two British bands during those early years.  Although I wouldn’t claim that the label had a “sound” per se it is interesting that the British bands were greatly influenced by their label mates. Head of David reveal a strong Big Black influence on Dustbowl and in fact I checked my ipod once or twice to make sure I was still listening to them. The sounds makes sense when you consider that Steve Albini produced this although there are some tracks that veer towards a punk-metal blandness. When Head of David hit their stride they may be one of the best 1980’s alt-rock bands you’ve never heard.

Jesu – Conquerer (Hydra Head) 2007

Posted in Jesu, metal, Music with tags , , on March 21, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

Ok, I know I said that Ducks Battle Satan would only be about records I liked but this release by Jesu has me fucked.

I’ve skirted around the edges of post-metal in an attempt to understand what the big fucking deal is. It’s all pleasant enough but I’m still waiting for that truly great post-metal album to grab me and engage me. I like the Isis and Pelican records I own but I was hoping that  Jesu were the real deal.  I was wrong.

Does anyone really think it is a great idea to create a new genre of shoegazing metal?  I lived the whole shoegazing thing. I had the Ride, Bleach, Slowdive and Chapterhouse records, I’m not proud of it but I did. Christ I even had those Lush EPs. I had the fringe that was somewhere south of my chin, I was skinny and had those pants that were a bit too big.

Now maybe I didn’t get the memo, but in 2007  was it time for some kind of revival? When I first played this I thought, “Ooh metal chords, a bit like Isis – great.”  But then those reed thin vocals started and it was like 1990 all over again. I don’t get it. What the fuck am I missing? Or is this post-metal stuff really just shoegazing for people with tattoos?

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