I didn’t pick this EP for review. I didn’t roll it randomly with my magic reviewer 20 sided DnD dice. This is not really my review at all. But what got me on this site, what made me join this site’s forum and type prolifically enough to get some attention, what ultimately made the owner ask me to write for them is that I like to speak my mind about what I love. And I love heavy metal. And I love Godflesh. I wouldn’t suck Broderick’s cock, but I would buy him a fucking beer. I don’t buy people beers. I hit people with beer bottles.
I love this EP.
I am going to piss everyone off and call this the greatest pop record released this year. You may not hear pop when you listen to it at first, and that’s because Jesu are pop in that if you removed the life threatening distortion and gave these songs to Oasis or someone, they would still fucking kill you. Christina Aguilera or whoever is the cute torso of male middle aged fantasy lust these days could run with these compositions. I sat down with my accoustic and just kind of picked them out along with the record, singing in my normal voice, and I confirmed it: they are just catchy, melancholy ditties at heart.
One of the most fascinating things about Godflesh was the way the songs krept into your mind. You would be so wrapped up in the raw distorted power of “Mantra” or “Don’t Bring Me Flowers” that you wouldn’t realize the insidious nature of the actual songwriting until you found yourself doing some driving or whatever later and the melody suddenly made you start to hum and tap your fingers on the steering wheel. And that was how Godflesh hooked you. It wasn’t the first listen. It was the second. And the subsequent thousand.
Jesu has the same power, but with a slightly catchier feel on this EP. And that power makes this thing shine like phosphorescent shells melting the skin off your bones. If you aren’t careful you might get confused looking for the Godflesh in this thing. But if you let that go, you are going to be amazed at how spirit lifting this music is at heart.
But it still is heavy and still is metal. The ever present tectonic movement of Diarmuid Dalton’s over-distorted bass, the massively echoed lava flow guitars, the disturbingly appropriate samples and keys, and the ever present drum machine are accounted for to much the same effect you know to expect. Ted Parsons hits the kit for the song “Silver“, as well. This is the same recording and performing style you already lost most of your epidermis to. But it’s slathered all over some remarkably memorable melodies.
Bottom line: You ever see Hellraiser? Very little about that movie was scary to me. Gross is not scary, and as an atheist hell and demons aren’t really threatening. But there were visual moments. And one of those was when the lead character was in the hospital and cenobites were making an appearance, the TV was playing this amazing, dread inducing static-saturated video of a flower withering. Somehow it made the rest of the film more sinister. This EP is that video. It captures more pure gut wrenching and soul invigorating promise in its slight twenty four minutes than most bands can express in a career.
I also have to say that a good Broderick EP has, in the past, been a harbinger of a minblowing full length. Merciless heralded the coming of one of the greatest records ever: Selfless. One hates to jinx, but…