Hydrahead, 2005

Have you ever wondered what the soundtrack to a mountain range crumbling would sound like? Or a city collapsing? Or a meteor striking the Earth? (No, it wouldn't be Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing.") Or even witnessing the extinction of all life on our planet? These are the kinds of things I think about. At least when I'm listening to Jesu. And this album would be that soundtrack.
This music is heavy. I'm talking concrete-crushing heavy. But that's to be expected from Justin Broadrick, the man who brought us Godflesh.
The wonderful thing about Jesu is that once you get past the devastating nature of this music, you will realize that at the core, these are extremely well-crafted and beautiful pop songs.
The other great thing about Jesu is that Broadrick understands that you don't have to scream the vocals just because you play extremely heavy music. Throughout this record (and the other Jesu releases) his voice barely rises above the maelstrom of distortion, bass and crashing drums. Now, sometimes screaming is appropriate. Like if you're Botch or Curl Up and Die. Or if your dog eats your laptop (true story). The best way to describe Broadrick's vocals, and I hesitate to use this term.. would be "shoegaze." But it works perfectly here.
Huh. I guess the whole "more than meets the eye (or ear)" and "judge a book by it's cover" thing is true. This record is sort of like the aggro, heavily-pierced girl (no, not the neo-nazi slag that was smashing Sandra Bullock's husband), who you may run into at the gas station from time to time. From her appearance, you immediately assume that she only listens to Norwegian Black Metal and has the entire Faces of Death collection on DVD . But if you get to know her, you find out that she loves baking, Nicholas Sparks novels, Ani DiFranco and finds Jimmy Kimmel "too racy" at times. Yeah. It's like that.
I know there's a lesson to be learned here somewhere..