Early last year UK electro punks Jensen made their striking entrance with the impressive Zero One EP, a three track seductive abrasion which instantly drew keen focus upon the band whilst suggesting greater things would loom across their horizons. Almost a year later and the band has unveiled Zero One [Redux], a fully re-mastered update of their debut with two additional tracks. Things may not be driving forward as rapidly as one would have imagined certainly on the recording front but as the new EP shows artistically and skilfully the project is not losing any of its potential and magnetic resourcefulness.
Born from the demise of the impressive Ourfamous Dead, Jensen is the studio project of the previous band’s founder Andrew Reeves. Ourfamous Dead was a force which was no stranger to acclaim whilst earning a strong reputation for live performances which saw the band alongside the likes of The Blackout, Funeral For a Friend, and Gallows. Their last single Claws At The Door was the band at its height but Reeves was not happy with the sound and maybe its direction so bravely bringing it to a close he threw himself into exploring the ideas and explorations rising up inside him. Revisiting put aside older tracks he had written, Reeves was soon sculpting the flavours and imagination he wanted, with the exciting Zero One EP the result. Recruiting the talents of Vier Jennings, Simon Green, and Robin Speight also from Ourfamous Dead to create a live band, with early 2014 the launch pad for the band to hit stages, Jensen recently signed with Armalyte Records with Zero One [Redux] the first offering to tempt whilst Jensen work on their debut album.
The band opens up the EP with Ghosts, a track which emerges from a blistering sonic wash to smother the ears with a compelling and confrontational squall of noise punctured by the passionately shouted vocals of Reeves. His delivery successful battles against the tide of sonic abrasion and a web of electro noise which smothers and seduces as irrepressibly as the contagious chorus. It is a raw and caustic brew which never takes it easy on the ears, the electro punk feistiness and bristling embittered energy giving no respite from its riled tempest or the agitated acidic and emotive ambience wrapping it all. Nevertheless the track only enthrals and captivates throughout this stormy treat laying down melodically crafted electronic bait at its heart which is irresistible.
The Corrupter follows and instantly is a different kind of beast from the same creative litter. With a darker heavier breath and imposing intensity, the song surrounds and probes the senses with thumping rhythms and corrosive riffs drenched in electronic provocation and smouldering persuasion. Finding a more industrial coarseness than its predecessor, the track has a fiery corrosive resonance which, with the again effected and expressive vocals, provides a magnetic grazing which recruits the imagination as fully as the melodic fascination and rousing incendiary presence of the excellent provocation.
Continuing the diversity Stars next provides a primarily electro rock persuasion which is less temperamental sonically than the previous tracks but no less engaging and enjoyable. With the vocals getting a clean production this time which for personal tastes works much better than when coated in additives, the track pulsates and bulges with inventive essences and spices. Industrial and punk add their tempting to the mix making up an electronic embrace complete with chafing guitar and melodic acidity. It completes the re-mastered songs from the original EP release and definitely all benefit and excel with the new touch and expressive aspect placed upon them.
The extra tracks on the EP are provided by the enjoyable Have A Ouija Board remix of Ghosts by Scottish maths/electronica retro-futurist duo i!, which closes up the release, and before it a blazing cover of the Duran Duran classic Wild Boys. It is as inflamed musically as you would suspect going on the evidence of the earlier songs, and is bursting with metallic rapaciousness and a scuzz kissed almost pestiferous edge to the electronic stomping and abrading riffery to leaves you wanting more and actually improves the addictive original.
Released on the 27th January, Zero One [Redux] not only re-confirms and pushes the promise already shown by the band, it makes the anticipation for Jensen’s full-length debut a rather impatient one. Still in evolution it is hard not to be excited about the Leeds band and what they have in store for us ahead.
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