JESU: Heart Ache and Dethroned: 2 x CD/ 2 x LP

Jan 11, 2011

It has been written (and this reviewer agrees) that the EP is the proper medium for Jesu (pronounced Yay-sue). So what might be better than what is essentially a double EP? The first disc, Heart Ache is only two songs, but combined they clock in at around forty minutes. Heart Ache is actually a re-release of Jesu’s first EP, released in 2004. Being that Justin Broadrick (who essentially is Jesu) had just broken up his industrial project, Godflesh, the similarities are much more evident than on Jesu’s most recent work. The electronic smash of the drums especially strikes one of the same pummeling that Broadrick’s industrial act offered. The two tracks aren’t entirely cutthroat, though. The second track, “Ruined,” starts with a five minute, minimalist piano taken straight from the M83 playbook. It’s quite pleasurable in its own right, but all that is taken away when the churning guitars kick in. The second EP, Dethroned, was originally started in 2004 but not completed until 2010. It’s interesting to note the range of Broadrick’s music on these four songs. While the Godflesh guitar aspects are occasionally there, there is also the shoegazing influence rearing its head throughout. Like much of Jesu’s previous releases, the sounds are always compatible and work well together. Furthermore, the emotional qualities of other Jesu works is still here: that of sadness, dreariness, and morose connection to one’s own psyche, while it holds hands with this little glimmer of something better. While I wasn’t sure about this double album at first, repeated listens have shown me that it’s an efficient medium for understanding the full range of Jesu’s sound. That being said, it might be a good place for a new listener to begin to check out the band.

 –kurt (Hydra Head))