My Jerusalem: Preachers

photo Chad Kamenshine

     Preachers from post-modern gothic soul conjurors My Jerusalem,  is an exceptional and impacting delight which at times feels like the perfect soundtrack to a union of TV shows Carnivàle and American Gothic with its smouldering shadows and menacing breath. It is a release which haunts emotions and thoughts whilst evoking images and feelings wrapped in drapes of dark and inspiring suggestive ingenuity. It is a delicious piece of imagination and enterprise which goes far beyond the ear as its provocative warmth kisses every pore like a passion driven flickering candle.

Preachers is described on its accompanying promo sheet as ‘the first My Jerusalem album genuinely made by a band, not just performed by a group of musicians.’ This suggests that their second album felt a more instinctive and natural creation than its predecessor, the critically acclaimed debut Gone For Good of 2010, for the band. It certainly has the presence of something organically spawn, a creation brought from a union of imagination and passion rather than a mere collection of ideas. It flows over the senses and thoughts like a smouldering seductive breath equipped with tension brewing surges and blackened enrapturing elegance. Formed by vocalist Jeff Klein (ex-Gutter Twins, The Twilight Singers), the Austin, Texas band recorded the record with Spoon drummer Jim Eno at his Public Hi-Fi studio, and achieved according to guitarist/keyboardist Jon Merza sound and release which is “more representative of what our live shows sound like.

As keys open up the title track to start off the escapade into enthrallment, there is an immediate chilled caress which puts ones attention on alert. Swiftly following harmonies and an enticing bass beckoning herald the outstanding expressive baritone vocals of Klein within the thick atmosphere enveloping, its shimmering charm laying a lush canvas for the song to ignite melodic fires and emotive sparks upon to enhance rather than ward off the closely watching shadows. It is a hauntingly mesmeric start which has a beauty and reassuring clasp as potent as the oppressive menace of its theme.

Things just explore and expand to greater heights then on in across the album, with firstly the wonderful Shatter Together. The song is the perfect dark pop song, its crawling bass murmurs and golden shards of melodic infection a delicious adventure which invigorates whilst opening up the elegance of dark painful love. It is quite glorious and sets up the passions for the following senses scorching stroll of Born in The Belly. The Southern burn to the angst soaked plaintive fire of Klein transports one into a squall of emotive intensity erupting at the heart of the song. It is another stunning slice of dramatic imagination with once more the bass of Geena Spigarelli a compulsive lure alongside the strong cage of rhythms built by drummer Grant Van Amburgh, but it is the vocals and titanic play from Merza and multi-instrumentalist Michael St. Clair which reap the fullest furnace of pleasure for their efforts.

The thrilling engagement continues at the established hypnotic great height through the likes of This Time, a track which plays like Johnny Cash meets Kings Of Leon through a majestic dusty western haze, and the persistent Death Valley, its dark rampancy of rhythms and consuming shadows igniting a Max Payne like imagery and presence. It is an urgent rolling insistence which frames expansive and inciting melodic invocations to leave one basking in sheer insurgent beauty.

The latter part of Preachers unveils songs which gently wrap themselves around the heart, the likes of Devoe, Between Space, and Chameleon glancing rich heart borne caresses across thoughts and emotions for rewards as equally irresistible as the more urgently driven encounters. Amongst them though there is the stirring rocker Oh Little Sister, a track which just romps with excitement inspired by the teasing bass lines, heart bursting horns, and the sensational acidic discord soaked guitar. It is a brilliant final thrust of dynamic energy before the stunning closer, I Left My Conscience In You. The song coaxes with subdued and subtle tendrils of warm creativity with the expressive breath of vocal and acoustic guitar gently aided by keys and bass. As it progresses though there is a slowly building ambience and increasing bristling of sounds which eventually erupts into a riot of passion and energy for a fiery and climactic crescendo to leave one breathless.

Released via The End Records, Preachers is simply sensational, easily one of the emotive and musical highlights of the year made from the colossal combination of shadows and imagination of My Jerusalem, and a release which just gets better and more powerful with each and every listen

http://thisismyjerusalem.com

RingMaster 18/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Bad Powers: Self Titled

Some bands upon their introduction just make you sigh with pleasure as the flames to a permanent attachment are lit and such is the case with Bad Powers and their self-titled debut album. It is a glorious and deeply stimulating piece of creative invention, its imagination as stirring and impressive as the raging provocative sounds brewed from the distinctly unique musical minds of the band. Arguably the quality of the release is not a surprise given that three quarters of the band were in the acclaimed Made Out Of Babies which called it a day earlier in the year, but guitarist Brendan Tobin, bassist Eric Cooper, and drummer Matthew Egan, have returned with something quite different and greedily enthralling.

The Brooklyn band headed by the stunning vocals of Megan Tweed (also of The Family Curse), has unleashed a hybrid of post punk and noise rock blended into a steaming maelstrom of innovation and ingenious enterprise. It is not the easiest to describe such the unique invention at play, for example at times the album teases the ear like a dysfunctional offspring of The Creatures, with Tweed sounding like a emotionally beleaguered Siouxie Sioux, The Pixies, and Throwing Muses lined by the corrosive breath of Joy Division, and in other moments the senses are swamped with a ravenous erosion brought by a cacophonous smothering from a mix of The Raincoats, The Sugarcubes, Stinking Lizaveta, and Essential Logic veined by the chilled whispers of a Xmal Deutschland. For all those inciting comparisons though the songs are in a realm of their own, a staggering amalgam of ideas and their inventive realisation brought through craft and energy to leave one drooling within a full and eager passion.

Released through The End Records, the album sets to work on the heart with opener New Bruises, the song immediately turning the key to adoration with dramatic sonic slices across rapping beats and firm riffs whilst Tweed begins her magnetic squalls of immense vocal enchantment. Like the music she offers a warm sizzling caress which alternates with a scorched and tenacious bite, her passionate wind shifts from deliciously scarring thoughts and emotions to coaxing them with a heated elegance. Whichever the source guiding her delivery it is a continual irresistible temptation. The track pulls one into an enveloping sonic wantonness, guitars and bass manipulating the synapses with brewing melodic gasses which consume all resistance whilst the rhythms cage and ensnare with an inescapable captivation.

The following likes of the tempestuous Hit Sniffing Dog and the brilliant Eves And Eyes cast their own distinct spells, the first a mix of intimidating intensity and taunting hypnotic grooves like a blistered union of elements from Dead Kennedys and Belly and the second an expansive crawl of emotive majesty and sinister shadows which delves within the psyche like the darkened fallout from The Birthday Party meeting Breeder overlooked by Morningwood. With its dark strings the track is immense amongst nothing but titanic pieces of dare one say genius?

Throughout its ten stunning tracks the album just offers the richest of rewards from its stylish and brilliantly crafted magnificence. The erosion Black Alf with its rolling plundering rhythms of Egan and abrasive vehemence from Tweedy just sparks higher flames of desire for the staggering creativity, the bass of Cooper snarling with venom within the caustic guitar assault whilst Blueberry transports the ear into an outstanding storm of air pilfering sonic rubs and incessant incendiary grooves. It is not the fiercest of the songs on the album but burns with a melodic heat to leave one breathless and smarting from its precise intensity.

With further heightened pinnacles in Electricity Should Be Free with its Bond like teasing intricacies and evocative swagger, and the quite wonderful and astounding closing track Bread And Butter, the album is without doubt one of the real triumphs of the year. From beginning to end it just wraps the senses and heart in a textured wash of brilliance. From its moments of crunching encounters through to the enchanting yet barbed beauty it seduces with ease through, the release is a sensation and Bad Powers in one stroke has taken sonically gifted music to a new and titanic height.

http://www.badpowers.com/

RingMaster 12/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright