Jesus Sons – Jesus Sons

written by: February 9, 2014
Album-art-for-Jesus-Sons-by-Jesus-Sons Release Date: January 28, 2014


Jesus Sons’ self-titled LP is a throwback to the days of affected rebelliousness, embracing the old-school mantra of “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.” Their name is a reference to Lou Reed’s famed song, “Heroine.” The album is a raw, psychedelic rock fest enshrouded in gnarly vocals, badass guitar play, and a Western Gothic feel.

Jesus Sons’ debut is a nostalgic trip down a dusty, dirty memory lane, with a sound like legendary rock ’n’ roll artists like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. Production is so sharp that every song from the beginning till the end feels and sounds old school, and lead singer Brandon Wurtz’s vocals sound intentionally fuzzy and abrasive.

Along with the old-fashioned feel and sound of the album, the tone makes Jesus Sons thrilling to listen to. The dark, haunting sound of the twangy, country music sprinkled with rattling melodies makes it the perfect soundtrack for Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy. Harmonicas are used extensively, giving the album an Americana flavor.

Some songs sound downright mean-spirited and rebellious.  On “Don’t Wanna Die,” Wurtz bellows huskily, “I want it all/I want it alive/Don’t do what I’m told/Don’t wanna die.”

“Don’t Wanna Die” is the perfect anthem for when it’s time to chug a bottle of Jack Daniels.

And once that Jack is about halfway down, it’s time to listen to “Ain’t Talkin Homesick.” Wurtz has a good time, going one step further and hollering Southern slangs like, “I ain’t got no money to spend/I ain’t go no women/I ain’t got no place to be.” The only turn off is the occasional “woooooo!” which is cheesy and annoying. If they had cut that whole thing out, it would have been better. Nonetheless, it’s a fun track with a catchy guitar riff and humpty-thump drum beat.

Other parts of the album sound like you’re walking into a ghost town. “Melt” evokes images of a barren wasteland laced with rattlesnakes and otherworldly screeches, warning anyone foolish enough to come to stay away.

“You Put a Spell on Me” is the ideal track to play driving along America’s loneliest highway, Route 50. It’s a repetitive, guitar-driven instrumental number that sets the scene for a lone cowboy to ride into the sunset.  Simple beats, rich guitar melodies, and a shake-and-rattle sound bring to mind America’s most rugged landscapes.

Jesus Sons is a straight-forward album that revives a genre popular five decades ago. The band is re-creating the soundtrack to the Wild West with classic guitar riffs, harsh vocals, and hard beats that will keep listeners on the edge. With a gritty, take-no-prisoners tone, it sounds like Jesus Sons wants to return to a time when music was dirty and aggressive, when wild head-banging was the best form of self expression.

It’s not for everyone, but for those who miss the good old days of rock ‘n’ roll, it’s got everything: a heart-thumping, head-banging, and foot-stomping hard rock attitude.

Jesus Sons – Jesus Sons tracklist:

  1. “All These Furs”
  2. “Who’s Around”
  3. “I Wanna Be Your Man”
  4. “You Put A Spell On Me”
  5. “Don’t Wanna Die”
  6. “Ain’t Talkin’ Homesick”
  7. “Out of Time”
  8. “Melt”
  9. “Going Down”