Something happened on the second release by JESU. While the debut seemed to seamlessly weave many different styles of rock together making drone metal seduce post-rock, shoegaze bow down to sludge metal and making misanthropic walls of sound conjure up true apocalypse, the second release CONQUERER just seems totally off from the get go. This album basically proves that throwing a bunch of different styles and genres into blenders don’t necessarily result in a tasty nutritious smoothie. When such efforts work well it is hardly perceptible by the listener that much effort went into the creation of the final product but CONQUERER proves to me that despite all the ingredients pretty much being the same there are a couple factors that make this a much less enjoyable experience than the debut.
First of all Justin Broadrick who is the main dude of this gig suddenly decided to incorporate more vocal melodies to the music but at the same time decided to keep the music dark, gloomy and depressive but yet sounds like he’s trying to audition for a more cheerful indie pop band such as Animal Collective or My Morning Jacket. While this doesn’t sound like a bad idea on paper, the truth is that at least in the final results of this particular album doesn’t quite work for me. It ends up sounding like one of those black metal albums going clean vocal style but decide to keep the timbres of the instruments the same. The depressive instruments are now trying to be cheerful and the chord progressions and distortions totally derail as the whiney vocals try to paint some indie rock rant of millennial depressiveness.
Yeah, the idea is worthy of trying but with the diminishing of drone effects and the chipper attempts to brighten up the lyrical content sounding like Radiohead attempting to play with Boris just doesn’t quite pull it off. As much as i’ve tried to get into this album, it just leaves me cold not because it’s trying to leave me cold which if successful would leave me at least lukewarm but because it utterly fails in the balancing act of making these disparate worlds fuse together properly. Although i prefer a band to take risks and experiment with sounds, i have to say that this risk didn’t pay off and makes me want to instantly revert back to the debut album rather than pursue any future releases. Not a good strategic career building move if you ask me.