It’s hard to find something original these days, isn’t it? Most bands, despite how brilliant their efforts may be, are instantly recognisable as part of a certain genre, or influenced by a particular band, or “oh wow, they really sound like so-and-so!” It’s a real feat to stand alone as an artist without those obvious comparisons, and that’s something Big Jesus achieve with Oneiric.
From the abrasive metal thump of ‘Shards’ to the delicate, ambient daydream-pop of ‘Shrimp’, Big Jesus are impossible to pin down. The Atlanta quartet have spent a long time, both on the road and in the studio, collecting and arranging a spectrum of sounds to compliment and contrast each other in a flurry of interesting, intriguing songs. The opening track, ‘SP’, is dripping in ‘90s alt-grunge, with its big guitar and droning vocals, but throughout the album there is still something undeniably fresh about Big Jesus, again making it unimaginable to place them.
Big Jesus have a lovely gift for being able to marry lo-fi angst and calm, relaxed vocals in melodic harmony. ‘Always’, for example, oozes enigmatic sensuality with a lazy psychedelic touch, while ‘Lock & Key’ encapsulates that raw, fuzzy retro sound, showing just two sides of this multi-dimensional band. We hear atmospheric shoegaze in ‘Floating Passed You’ and hardcore riffs with intricate metal melodies in title track ‘Oneiric’, and it makes for something so chalk-and-cheese, yet wonderfully unique and absorbing.
It’s hard to give a “for fans of” round-up of Big Jesus; we can’t wrap them up in a neat little package for you, because they’re far too hugely eclectic for that. All we can do is suggest you take 45 minutes out of your life, listen to Oneiric, and decide for yourself if Big Jesus are your cup of tea. But one thing we will say is this- we’re pretty damn sure you won’t regret it!
Oneiric by Big Jesus is out now via Mascot Records.