Jarboe / Justin K Broadrick


Written by: PP on 23/03/2008 02:43:10

Just as I come off praising Sculptured for their awesome experimentalism, it\'s time to attack another intensely experimentalist release, the collaboration between art rock band Swans member Jarboe and Jesu/Godflesh member Justin K Broadrick, a noteworthy and exciting combination on paper. Whereas my review of Sculptured focused on the fullness of their sound, my review of \"J2\" will focus on what\'s missing from this release. I\'ve said this before and I\'ll say it again, there\'s a very fine line between experimentalism and absolute garbage, and \"J2\" is a few hundred miles on the wrong side of that line.

Take the album opener \"Decay\", a seven and a half minute track consisting almost purely of buzzing guitar distortion and incredibly annoying \"ooh-ooh-ooh-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo\" \'lyric\', which is on repeat for the entire seven and a half minutes at operatic heights. \"Let Go\" follows with six and a half minutes more of instrumentation that says absolutely nothing to the listener. The vocal style reminds you of Portugal. The Man, but the sad reality is that Portugal. The Man couldn\'t write a song as bad as \"Let Go\" even if they spent the entire year trying so. Where they focus on creating an experimentalist indie rock atmosphere filled with samples and unconventional vocal styles, \"Let Go\"\'s minimalistic approach says about as much as a blank piece of paper. To its credit though, it is immeasurably more enjoyable than the album opener. A user at Sputnikmusic said it best: \"I listened to Decay and I wanted to shoot myself in the head halfway through\".

Luckily for Mr Broadrick & Jarboe, the rest of the album isn\'t as terrible as the album opener, but then again it isn\'t much better. The idea is well audible: mix in ambient electronics and progressive elements from metal with Jarboe\'s high-pitch Portugal. The Man-like voice, and hope something great comes out of it. The problem is that the collaboration lacks in both the songwriting and the execution departments, which is surprising (and unfortunate) considering the background of each collaborator. The progressions that are meant to be epic stumble on too much minimalism already in their first steps, and the arrangements are neither interesting nor compelling. The end result? A bad album that only a few elitists will like, and even they will claim liking only because \'it is cool to like avant-garde stuff\' in the scene.


Download: Let Go, Romp
For the fans of: ambient electronics
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.03.2008
The End Records

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