The new record from Jesus Piece, called Only Self and out in August 2018, explodes with fury. The album shares the sound of justice’s brutal infliction on the dregs of humanity, or perhaps that of a natural disaster. Whichever metaphor suits you, once you hit play on Only Self, there is no escape. There’s not even a true let-up.
The record drags the listener to the edge, blasting away any feeble attempts at covering up deep and dark mental wells. The onslaught comes not just from outside but inside as well as the band pounds away at listeners’ psyches.
The record feels set apart by how much the band packs into a generally “hardcore” framework. Pigeonholing this band as just another group of hardcore guys screaming and carousing on stage and in a studio would be absolutely ridiculous. The band pushes hardcore music to the absolute limit, building theirs with a thickness that knocks the listener out.
Their thickness, though, is intelligent. This beast is alive. While all consuming, the band knows when to drop into a slightly softer modus operandi, providing their fury with a defining framework that helps it hit the listener. This raging is not blind or rambling; it is purposeful and controlled (mostly). The ninth track on the record, called simply “I,” helps provide that definition. The song is a slow, deeply mournful meditation that launches into the sludgy opening of “II,” which sounds like the band is going even further than before, dragging their metaphorical rake along the very bottom of a darkened bog. It’s like you’re descending through the mythical layers of hell as you make your way through Only Self. Listeners would do well to play this record through front to back, which is a great unifying quality.
With the inner muck out of the way, finishing the album feels like it’s time in the band’s view to take on those who call for the pain inflicted on the underprivileged. The rage is not over, even if a personal listening experience might be. The record is a dynamic, personable monster that lives on.
5/5 Stars — Photo via Amy Ha
Listen to the single “Neuroprison” below.