As we know too easily psych rock will never die. Labels like Fuzz Club and Rocket are bringing all kinds of shades of it to our attention. Take Sonic Jesus for example. The brain child of one Tiziano Veronese out of Italy. On his second album he matches the earlier barrage of gruesome psych with a newfound pop sensibility with pounding beats and the dark heart still intact.
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Are Sonic Jesus just White Lies now? Weren’t these the guys making pummelling, nihilist psych rock double discs but a year ago? From hopeless hearts to post-punk romanticism, it seems, as ‘Grace’ opens with a the National-inspired baritone, a lovesick melody and guitars that scramble up the hill towards an anthem. The whole thing is coated over with a heavy wave of synth, of course, but it suggests a band with… what is it they call it again? Pop sensibility? Never heard of it.
‘Grace’ suggests a continuation in the ol’ Fuzz Club sea change: it’s become apparent through recent releases that the label and its artists are more than happy to colour in different shades, eschewing what we formally think of as psych rock in favour of heavy-reverb versions of other genres. “I Hope” is another balladic post-punk tune with emotively thrummed piano chords and shuffling drums, all of it opening onto synths that beam into the room like light hungry for the first crack to pour through. “September 9th” offers a distraught, near-tears vocal mumble you might’ve expected of Interpol, not so much Sonic Jesus. It is, of course, to die for.
Sonic Jesus in yearn mode. I didn’t think it could happen, but even when they’re exacting krautrock synth-lines and drum patterns on “Outdoor”, they’re doing it in the name of the kind of straightforward melody that might have once slipped through the hands of Editors. They do it very well indeed, but… man, this is weird. Am I eleven again? Am I eleven and working at Norman Records?
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- Grace by Sonic Jesus
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