My Jerusalem

All the way over in Austin Texas comes the second album by “My Jerusalem”, pushing what they describe as “Post-Modern Southern Gothic Soul” in the form of “Preachers”.

Opening with the ominous title track, you immediately get a feel for where “My Jerusalem” are heading. With a sound and vibe that are somewhere between Jace Everett and 16 Horsepower, with possibly a dollop of Chris Rea (okay, he’s not overly dark and moody!).

The whole album has that feel cinematic sound that takes the listener on a journey that is dark and slightly sinister. Moving from the opening “Preachers” it moves on to the beautifully crafted “Shatter Together”, with Kleins full vocals perfectly enveloping the music; “I’ll be your mirror, we could shatter together. We could shatter together”. Probably this reviewers favourite track on the album.

My Jerusalem

Flowing into “Born In The Belly” the track becomes harsher, with more attitude behind the beats, calming down before Jeff spits out the lyrics “I’m Still Coming For You”.

The whole concept of the album is built on; “Nobody ever paid money to see Harry Houdini escape being buried alive. They wanted the small chance of seeing him killed by the weight of the earth on top of him.” says the founder/singer Jeff Klein. It’s this human desire to peak at that desire to peak at what you don’t want to see which powers this album. It makes you listen for more.

“Mono” delicately opens with drumbeat pulse, and carefully played guitar, a very mellow feeling as the vocals casually open with “You are going to die in the room, in your twin size coffin”. This track is almost the complte opposite in feel to “Born In The Belly” due to it’s completely laid back feel unlike the harsh, or jagged, sound.

“This Time” is the track that really reminds me of Chris Rea, it has an almost Gospel feel to it with a chorus that cries out to be chanted.

“Death Valley” returns to that dark side, which seems to pull you between heaven and hell, and leaves you in mind of the desert. When left stranded with nothing but your conscience, and the need to make choices. It’s strong rhythm and vocals give the track a resonance.

After the power of “Death Valley”, the listener is returned to the steady flow of “Devoe”, where the underlying bass line carries you along whilst the guitar and keyboard provides a shroud to envelope the vocals. Almost leading you into a false sense of security as it crescendos for the chorus. As the tracks closes you are carried into “Between Space” a powerful sounding track, that is a more laidback affair that pulls no punches. Things take a change of tack with “Oh Little Sister” which a more rock ‘n roll vibe.

My Jerusalem

“Chameleon” has a lovely soft sound, again with that bass that permeates through, and works great with the vocals. As you are left reflecting on family and the ghosts of a time gone by. Closing with “I Left My”, a more acoustic sounding track, it has that feeling of being recorded outside of the studio, a nice little raw edge. A great soft way to close the album, with a sound that reminded of Twin Peaks. A fitting end to the journey they called “Preachers”.

The first couple of listens to the album I was drawn into the the first two tracks, but found it harder to get interested any further. But it is worth pushing on and spending time with it. Once you find your own personal hook into the album, and it opens up to you, you get the full scope of what they are doing. At times I found myself missing the lyrics simply because of the music simply carried me. This is no criticism of the vocals, if anything it goes to show how well they flow and work with the music to create an almost seemless journey. If I had to draw any parallels with genres on this side of the pond I would describe these guys as dark indie rock, although I prefer their longer “Post-Modern Southern Gothic Soul” description. The easiest description would be “easy listening”, but that would be an insult, and probably a lie! If you are not paying attention it is easy to listen to, and might even slip by unnoticed in places, but don’t let that happen. So let’s stick with the long, but well formed “Post-Modern Southern Gothic Soul”.

“Preachers” is due for release on November 19th.

Now to satiate the darker side and find their first album…

Line Up
Jeff Klein – vocals
Jon Merz – guitar/keyboards
Michael St. Clair – various!
Grant Van Amburgh – drums
Geena Spigarelli – bass

track Listing
Shatter Together
Born in the Belly
This Time
Death Valley
Between Space
Oh Little Sister
I Left My Conscience in You


Words by “keeping it local” Jon.

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