Sonic Jesus – Neither Virtue Nor Anger

Sonic Jesus 2

Italy’s psychedelic swampers are back with a dark and brooding longplayer. Chloe Mayne checks it out for

Sonic Jesus are one of the secret gems buried in the shore of the incoming psychedelic wave; a wave that, while kicked off almost two decades ago, is beginning to pound shores with a slightly sleepy insistence. Amongst the swirl, it can be difficult to find the real crackers. Their bandcamp page keeps quiet as to their intentions, but for a William S. Burroughs quote: When I become death, death is the seed from which I grow. A sombre and enigmatic bio for a band that wraps itself in uncompromising darkness amongst the technicolour sheen of popular neo-psych.

Sonic Jesus’ debut vinyl EP, however, sold out almost instantly and their live reputation continues to gather traction. They’ve performed with Jón Sæmundur aka Nonni Dead of Dead Skeletons at the Eindhoven Psych Lab and shared stages with The Oscillation, White Hills, White Manna and Cosmic Dead, as well as clocking a support slot for Icelanders Singapore Sling. They’re a secret, then, that’s being passed around in furious whispers by those who’ve really dug their heels in.

First track ‘Locomotive’ creeps in like nightfall over ocean, a trembling voice washing over the quietude. It builds and builds upon itself before exploding into synaesthetic guitar bliss, bass surging in to lift the sound to a glorious climax. From there, the tension continues to coil around itself. ‘Reich’ is an early highlight, ramped up and circling like a buzzard. Sprawling across two double-sided vinyls, Neither Virture Nor Anger holds back nothing, luxuriating in its own sweat and bile to create something remarkable. It retreats into shadowy corners to suckle at the visceral fruits it finds there.

Unless you’re already an avid fan of early Swans, Neither Virtue Nor Anger is like a murky lake, to be stepped into with tentative toes, feeling out among the slippery rocks for the holds. With patience, and return, the record gives back in gigantic shudders. A dense and dark offering from one of the grimy underground’s sharpest acts.

Neither Virtue Nor Anger will be released via Fuzz Club Records on April 16th. Keep in the loop with Sonic Jesus via their website.

The band have embarked upon an epic European tour to celebrate the record’s release. These are the remaining dates (get ready for it):

Neither Virtue Nor Anger Euro Tour
21/04/15 Recanati (An) Dong (IT)
23/04/15 Athens An Club (GR)
24/04/15 Larisa Stage Club (GR)
25/04/15 Thessaloniki Mavri Trypa (GR)
26/04/15 Skopje MKC (MK)
27/04/15 Niš Feedback (RS)
28/04/15 Zaječar Omladinski Centar (RS)
29/04/15 Belgrade KC Grad (RS)
01/05/15 Padova Parco d’Europa (IT)
02/05/15 Parma Oltretorrente Sonico Arci Zerbini

Chloe Mayne


Words by Chloe Mayne.