Hailing from sunny Italy, Sonic Jesus create dark, heavy psychedelic/kraut music reminiscent of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, TOY and Icelandic, ritualistic psych band, Dead Skeletons. They have a hint of Anatolian psych about the instrumentation too; with some of the woozing organ and fuzzy guitar on Neither Virtue Nor Anger being reminiscent of Baris Manco. No shimmering, dreamy psychedelia here, Sonic Jesus is dark and stomping and biting.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 22 April 2015
Who’s up for some no hope psych rock? The latest entry into the New Testament of the Fuzz Club is Sonic Jesus, who recently inflicted some repetitive-strain kraut witchery on a split with the Black Angels. On ‘Neither Virtue Nor Anger’, they get a chance to stretch their devastated sound out.
Sonic Jesus are just as psych but far less playful than their fuzzed out contemporaries, weaving their quiet-loud dynamics through dark, hopeless narratives that would have the Brian Jonestown Massacre clutching to pillows; they open with “Locomotive”, a Big Music opener that’s all about emotive chord sequences playing quietly and gloomily before falling backwards through a black hole. The muted sound of left-on amps on “Triumph” bely a bit of synth ‘n’ baritone counterpoint, recalling the depressed metropolis soundscaping of Interpol; it’s a thrilling, rhythmic ride, but you won’t feel the wind in your hair.
The crew keep themselves at arm’s length over this ridiculously melodramatic double disc adventure, the production scoured and ruinous, echoing the faraway dystopian feel of Dirty Beaches ‘Drifters’ on tunes like “Reich” -- you notice where, rather than what, the sounds are. “Paranoid Palace” is engineered to make psych rock sound bigger than you: the chords bounce like a cheque and the vocal melodies trace the air above you.
The high-minded reverence is all over: it’s in the nihilistic vocal samples about death, in the low end discrepancies and in the showy but shadowy riffing. ‘Neither Virtue Nor Anger’ is the psych rock album my philosophy lecturer dreamed of making.
8/10 The Doc Customer review, 4th May 2016
This is some seriously dark, heavy shit. Sounds at various different points like Sisters Of Mercy produced by White Hills, or Goat trying to play stoner rock. Weird scenes inside the goldmine. It's incessantly doomy and relentlessly dark, and considering it clocks in at nearly an hour and a half, it's a fair old schlep trying to get through it all in one go, but it's well worth the effort in the end. Best consumed while utterly fucked, played at a volume that would shred your ears at a thousand yards distance. Really hope these guys turn up at Psych Fest in September.
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- Neither Virtue Nor Anger by Sonic Jesus
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