Release Date: Sep 23, 2013
Record label: Shellshock
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal
Justin Broadrick’s career can be seen as one long, slow comedown from the birth of punk. As a teenager, he played lightning-fast riffs and helped write the world’s shortest song (“You Suffer”) as part of Napalm Death, the pioneering grindcore band. After only a couple demos and one half of a full-length, Broadrick left ND and formed Godflesh, and for over a decade soldered jackhammer backbeats onto mid-tempo industrial guitar squalls, turning out a number of classic albums in the process.
Justin Broadrick's Jesu project has always walked a loose tightrope between the dense modal post-rock of bands like Pelican and Isis, and the shoegaze sound of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. Jesu's records have been either haunting and beautiful (usually the EPs), or almost suffocatingly dull for all their glacial repetition (the overly long albums). Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came falls into the former category.
There are two bands called Jesu. One is a bedroom project that mostly makes minimalist, experimental, drum-machine-backed EPs and split singles. The other is a full rock band that makes full rock albums, with drums provided by former Swans, Prong, and Godflesh member Ted Parsons. Both are led by Justin Broadrick-- co-founder of Napalm Death and Godflesh, as well as numerous side projects.
The precarious balance in Jesu, one of Justin Broadrick's many (many) projects, has always been between finding a melodious, bona fide song and the minimalist, pummelling tendencies of the drum machine and downtuned guitar. On this seventh full-length, things start out promisingly with "Homesick," which fits right in the mouth of the Jesu canon, and "Comforter," a track that sounds a little like Sigur Rós in a washing machine full of molasses. However, from that point on things get a little same-y.
Despite Justin Broadrick’s reputation as a fearsome noisemaker (whether as Godflesh, part of Napalm Death or under his electronic-oriented JK Flesh alias), his music as Jesu is painterly rather than destructive, more focused on rendering wide vistas than crushing sonic assault. Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came, the follow-up to 2011’s Ascension, comes after a slew of non-Jesu releases, including a JK Flesh collaboration with Prurient on Hydra Head’s final release, Worship Is The Cleansing of the Imagination. Since Ascension, Broadrick has become a father, and the greater sense of perspective that comes with parenthood seems to have informed his compositional ethic, with his usually Wagnerian panoramas reined in by a new intimacy.