Most post-rock or proggy rock bands blur the line between boredom and apathy just enough to get away with pushing album after album of formulaic songs that strive to be a dissertation on the State of Mopey Nation, but instead end up more like a third grade science project. The songs are interesting enough, but they don’t seek to stand out—like that year everyone made volcanoes out of Play-Doh, vinegar and baking soda.
Riverside’s Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound doesn’t bring a volcano that daddy helped them make—they don’t need daddy’s help. Instead, they bring a sonic treatise on the nature of perennial heavyheartedness, and they made it themselves.
Rather than attempting to impress elitists with their aural exposition, the band focuses on weaving a tight, intricate web of harmonic progressions and haunting melodies that convey raw, unprocessed, unrefined emotion. Generally spacey and ethereal, the band is equally adept at dishing out anxious, squealing guitar as they are at providing an intricate, weepy soundtrack for the broken-hearted. This is essentially sad music, but Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound lack the pretense of most perennially low-spirited bands. Their music doesn’t strive to be anything it’s not, nor does the band pretend that its gloom is universally epic, although their valiant use of strings and layered vocal harmonics—think Gregorian chants—might give that impression.
The band’s music is in the avant-garde vein, but at its heart beats a pacifying sonic portrait of the saturnine soul that even the most ardent adherent to musical structures can perceive.
More info and song clips available at their MySpace page: www.myspace.com/jmtss
Attention Riverside/San Bernardino County bands (you too, Claremont, La Verne and Pomona)! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Band of the Week, IE Weekly, 2175 Sampson Ave., Ste. 118, Corona, CA 92879. Or you can be lazy and e-mail us your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.