Julian Cope

Jehovahkill

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Moving into what he later described as the second part of a trilogy of albums, Jehovahkill sees Julian Cope's focus shift from environmental collapse to raging against the destructiveness of mainstream religion and an attendant celebration of earlier, heathen impulses. The artwork and design draw this out further, with Cope providing commentary on a number of ancient megalithic temples and sites, along with attendant poetry. As with Peggy Suicide, though, the music is what is first and foremost, and following that earlier album's success Cope was on a roll. With only Skinner and Cosby making up the core band this time out, plus a variety of guest performers and snippets (including cult musician/astronomer Dr. Fiorella Terenzi on the crazed Krautrock/funk of "Poet Is Priest..."), Cope turned in another 70-minute-long effort. If Jehovahkill isn't quite as perfectly balanced as Peggy Suicide, it comes darn close, definitely leaving the late-'80s trough behind. "Soul Desert," the opening number, actually almost picks up where Peggy Suicide left off, with "Las Vegas Basement," with the same low-key late-night vibe. Cope's voice is again at full strength, whether gently singing or just going all out; here he's able to do both as the song amps up further about halfway through. From there Jehovahkill move through three phases, much like Peggy Suicide was divided into four. The overall tone of the record is looser than Peggy, with Cope's various celebrations and condemnations often sounding like they were captured on a first-time run-through. He definitely sounds like he's more performing intense rituals instead of songs, as on the powerful, building intensity of "Up-Wards at 45 Degrees" and the awesome "The Tower." Combined with everything from the rural blues-goes-drone rock of "The Mystery Trend" and the combined Neu!/Stooges tribute "The Subtle Energies Commission" to the amusing "Julian H. Cope," it adds up to another fine Cope album.

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