There would, it seems, appear to be a meeting point somewhere between Nick Cave, Bauhaus, Bowie and Marc & The Mambas. That place is occupied by My Jerusalem.
Originally from New Orleans, and containing members of Polyphonic Spree and The Twilight Singers, they first appeared in 2009. The debut album, Gone For Good, released the following year received much critical acclaim and preceded several European festivals. Preachers, the ‘difficult second album’ was recorded in less than three weeks by Jim Eno using analogue tapes and conventional keyboards, and, is an album of quite remarkable quality.
From the opening piano of the title track, we have a gospel feel. The vocals quite literally soon scream into action. An intense live feel, an incredibly addictive quality, a stunning track which should be played nice and loud to savour every second, for it lasts less than 3 minutes. A deep bass starts Shatter Together, a sexy, spookily beautiful track – “I’ll be your mirror, we can shatter together”. Is Preachers a ‘dark’ album? Yes, it is. Is it a little strange in parts? Perhaps. But, if you like an album of true conviction and energy and passion, then it’s just the ticket for you.
Another stormer of a track in Born In The Belly, I feel for the vocal chord of lead singer, Jeff Klein. No pussy-footing about here – straight into a pounding groove of a track with roars and sincerity and anger. Verses and chorus strung together with superbly executed rhythmic pulse.
The pace is then brought down several stages with the lovely Mono. “I want to be the one who rolls you over”. An infectious love song. Klein vocals step up a notch from the deep baritone voice on previous tracks. A delightful acoustic number. If you were to add a few sleigh-bells to This Time with its Rock ‘n’ Roll feel and you’d have a perfect sounding Xmas record before we have opening burundi drum beat of Death Valley with its intense chorus and vocals that bely Kleins years – husky, raw and well weathered.
It’s a shame that the cd doesn’t come with a lyric sheet (maybe the vinyl does?) as Klein is clearly a poet, Devoe is gorgeous. Two and a half minutes in and the drums and cymbals crash down again. (and I’m sure I heard the ‘F’ word toward the end!)
Preachers isn’t all shouting and pounding, there are some lovely mellow songs here too. Between Space with its temptation to break into gospel, and, Chameleon with its hypnotic melody are both just beautiful. Sandwiched between these two is Oh Little Sister, which, despite the title line reminding me of Billy Idol’s White Wedding and the tune itself of Stereophonics’ Dakota, it’s has the potential to be a great driving song. Short and sweet and with accompanying trumpet.
The album closes with the mighty I Left My Conscience In You. Starting harmlessly enough with a sumptuous acoustic, raw feel (probably more so than the rest of the album) we soon have drums, crunching guitar, screeching feedback and roaring vocals. A superb end to a truly fantastic album.
Preachers – I’m a believer.
Published by Louder Than War 23/11/12 - http://louderthanwar.com/my-jerusalem-preachers-album-review/