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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 238 - 01/24/16

Jesu / Sun Kil Moon
Jesu / Sun Kil Moon
Caldo Verde Records/Rough Trade

The collaboration between Sun Kil Moon, aka. Mark Kozelek, and Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and Jesu can be traced back to 2004, when Kozelek offered Broadrick a contract with his own label, Caldo Verde, and subsequently released two Jesu records on it. The musical partnership was hinted at last year, and the Jesu/Sun Kil Moon album was released the 22th of January.

Kozelek is capable of writing and making music fast, cranking out an album almost annually these last few years. His capacity for tolerance towards his less productive peers were most recently proclaimed in his "War On Drugs: Suck My Cock" single:

'War On Drugs loves Fleetwood Mac
War On Drugs loves Mellencamp
War On Drugs, let's give 'em a cheer
War On Drugs made three albums, took 'em nine fucking years!

Still, his professional (and personal impatience) may have been a blessing when working with Broadrick, a musician of equal renown when it comes to churning out records. So, apart from making great music together, it also seems that Kozelek and Broadrick are working in a compatible pace.

Jesu/Sun Kil Moon might only be the brainchild of Kozelek and Broadrick, but damn it got a lot of big names attached to it. Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Will Oldham, Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk (of Low) make appearances. The result is a surprisingly varied, but still wholesome record.

In most tracks the Jesu sound can be discerned by the heavy, almost grunge metally, shoegazing guitar and the experimental synth. Kozelek on the other hand, contributes with his tender and trivial lyrics. Somehow he manages to view the dirty realities of life through a very romantic lense. The lyrics of Exodus, dealing with the fairly recent death of Nick Cave's son is an example of this, and I can't help feeling that the romanticization of this tragic event is all too much. Still I suspect that I wouldn't feel bothered if it was all metaphorical, but alas, as Kozelek has stated "Metaphors are excruciating and boring". It is the descriptive-biographic qualities of Kozelek's songwriting that makes it all too real and provocative. One could describe Jesu/Sun Kil Moon in terms of being the offspring of many influences. There are elements reminscent of Kyuss, Modest Mouse and My Bloody Valentine, and tracks like "Carondelet" and "Sally" even have punk feel to them. All in all it is a great record, and if you did not catch the early free streaming release on the Sun Kil Moon website last week it is now available on CD and most streaming services. However, the vinyl release date is still TBA.

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