Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came
24 September 2013
by Rob McAuslan
If you don’t follow Jesu too closely, it’s easy to get a bit confused by their output. Justin Broadrick’s presence is the only constant, with their releases swinging between ethereal puffs of minimalist misery and full-bore industrial metal. Their albums are for the disenfranchised Godflesh fans craving that trademark crush, with their EPs being where the ghosts of songs manifest themselves around gentle drum programming and breathy, barely-there murmurings. Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came breaks that pattern by being a full-length ‘Jesu-gaze’ release.
It’s not like such concerns as “running time” mean much when dealing with this project anyway. Broadrick’s ever-increasing prowess as a songwriter over the course of Jesu’s career, mapped against his dramatically lower use of guitars has made for a far more interesting consideration. That troubling schism should be fixed soon enough though, with a new project called Pale Sketcher taking on the lighter electronica and Jesu being reinstated as a mostly heavy industrial outlet. Oh, and there’s the rumoured return of Godflesh as a recording entity too, for those of you who demand that kind of masochistic thrill. Everyday I Get Closer… is many things, then, not least of which is being potentially the last time you’ll hear Jesu sound quite like this.
On this evidence, that may be just as well. There’s a disjointed, almost disinterested feel to Everyday I Get Closer… that feels like a waste after 2011’s Ascension and its expansive paean to introversion. The main offenders here are ‘The Great Leveller’, its seventeen plus minutes meandering past in a parade of slo-mo anticlimaxes, whilst album-closer ‘Grey Is The Colour’ is a fairly rote waft of drunken-sounding chord sequences that Broadrick could have probably managed to write in his sleep. There’s still definitely good stuff on here though, despite the way the record kind of shuffles out apologetically with the empty, numbing ‘Grey Is The Colour’.
‘Comforter’ is the highest point of the receond; reverb-laden vocals trip over each other, tumbling through Slowdive jangle and twinkle into thudding, seismic bassline warfare until the whole thing collapses over and onto itself. It’s followed both in order of preference and album order by ‘Everyday’, which recalls Hymns-era Godflesh in tone and escalation, a slow-burning exercise in restraint and release that displays all of the songwriting quality sadly missing from sprawl of ‘The Great Leveller’. Two and a bit out of five tracks though? Not a whole-hearted recommendation from me, sadly.
Sounds Like: My Bloody Valentine for the early-90s Earache set
Standout Tracks: Comforter, Everyday, some of The Great Leveller