Sweet Jesus – You Destroy Yourself

8.3 Overall Score
Production: 9/10
Songs: 8/10
Vocals: 8/10

Production values I variety of songs

I'd like to hear a bit more lead guitar but it IS hardcore

Sweet Jesus
You Destroy Yourself
Atomic Action Records
2015

Sweet Jesus is a hardcore band out of Massachusetts and somewhat of a “supergroup.” Members have been culled from several different notable bands including Dag Nasty, Praise, Have Heart, Swiz, Dropdead, Soul Control and more. They recently dropped a new album, yes vinyl, called You Destroy Yourself on the Atomic Action label, produced by J. Robbins of Jawbox and more.

The band waste no time getting right to it. Time For Grace starts out with a short spoken word intro and I was afraid that is was going to be another one of those recordings, if you get my drift. I have reviewed releases that had a spoken word intro on almost every track and it rubbed me all wrong. In my opinion that is an amateurish move and thankfully Sweet Jesus are not amateurs. But it was short and not really repeated except for one track, the title track, which actually is quite experimental and makes me think of a hardcore King Missile! I really dug the closing words of the entirely spoken word song – “Those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” Truer words were never spoken. The only flaw is that the title song song and its final words should have closed the album. That would have been perfect. As it is there is one more song.  Back to the opening song though  – while it breaks no new ground, it rocks and fans of hardcore should really like it.

Yes, I did jump from the first song to the ninth, but it was relevant and something you should know. As the album progresses I was pleased to find that not every song sounded like the others. Well, I’ll backtrack a little bit, it IS hardcore after all and therefore follows a formula. But they do mix things up. The vocalist sometimes screams, sometimes sings, and possibly talks (I do not know who did the spoken words on the title track.) There is a definite Black Flag influence on the vocals, which is a good thing. Not that they are copying anybody – no, I just noticed it and it was surely coincidental. Sometimes a vocalist just sounds somewhat like another vocalist.

This is hardcore, no doubt, but track number five, Sorry Things, slows it down and I really liked it. I can find influences of Black Flag and Nirvana in this one and it is really good! I listened to it several times just for pleasure. My only criticism is that while J. Robbins did a nice job producing the album I would have liked to hear the lead guitar lines on this one, the few that there are, more up front. But I am old school…

This review is short, yes, but the songs are quite short as well. This album is a good representation of today’s hardcore. J. Robbins’ production is mostly spot on and it sounds good. The songs mix it up and by the time you reach the end you will probably want to play it again. Sweet Jesus this is a pretty good record!

Sweet Jesus is:
Patrick Flynn (Have Heart / Clear)
Shawn Costa (Have Heart / Verse)
Jim Connolly (Soul Control / Fucking Invincible)
George Radford (Dropdead / Fucking Invincible)
Adam Goncalves (Voices Forming Weapons / Fiddlehead)

Appearances by Shawn Brown (of Swiz, Dag Nasty, etc) and Andy Norton (of Praise).

Produced by J. Robbins (Jawbox etc.)

 

 

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Jeff Strichart
Author: Jeff Strichart View all posts by
Jeff Strichart has been a frustrated musician for almost forty years. He is also a producer and has mixed and/or mastered many local Colorado bands. Aside from his music and production he enjoys his dogs, motorcycles, collecting vintage BMX bicycles, reading and his new found love of sound design using hardware synthesizers and has licensed material to the BBC for use in their television programs.

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