Jesu

Silver

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    8
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Jesu's sophomore effort is a four-track, 29-minute EP. It follows in line with the musical ideas of the band's self-titled debut issued in 2005 with one notable difference: vocals. Justin Broadrick has always been a project-based artist, whether it's the deep paranoid ambience of Final, the sheer skull-crushing mania of Head of David, or the slow, brutal intensity of Godflesh. Jesu's Silver is slow, multi-layered (as in My Bloody Valentine sonic washouts), loud as hell, melodic, and, well, introspective. If Broadrick had ever embraced the shoegazer set, this might be what it would have sounded like. The guy can write a song, as evidenced by the beautiful "Star," with its guitars ringing and on stun, propelled by Ted Parsons' drum thud and Diarmuid Dalton's bass throb. Then there's the 21st century take on the power ballad in the title track, introduced by a piano and a swelling series of guitar drone effects that just erupt in a slow, majestically dark swirl all but covering over Broadrick's unadorned voice. "Wolves" begins with keyboards sounding like an electric harmonium giving way to a chintzy synth and overdriven bass drone. Broadrick's guitars take the middle path, endlessly layered to white out, and his vocal slinking like an instrument down in the mix but just loud enough -- and staggered via digital delay -- to be understood. "Dead Eyes," which closes the set, is all backward-spun, dubbed-out excess. The vocals sound like they are coming through a vocoder, the guitars are simply mishmashed sound with five notes standing out in the din, the bass is all pure distortion, and the drumming in places could be breakbeat -- all until the middle of the cut when everything becomes crystal clear and malevolent. This is perhaps the most accessible thing Broadrick has ever recorded -- which isn't saying much, folks -- and these are hardly hit singles, clocking in anywhere between six and a half and eight and a half minutes, but they do offer yet another side of a guy whose last name has been equated with the extremes in independent music. Silver is no exception, but it weighs heavily on the side of beauty.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 6:46 Spotify
2 7:02 Spotify
3 8:29 Spotify
4 6:26 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick