Artist: Mean Jesus
Label: Kayfabe Lives
Release Date: December 1rst 2023
Time: 16 Minutes, 47 Seconds
Location: Norfolk, VA
Mean Jesus formed out of former members of different bands, most notably melodic punk rockers Bad Korea and Converge (drummer JohnDiorgio played drums with them for a while). Soon they released their debut EP Noble Ambitions, the music I discovered by them in that melodic hardcore group. Noble Ambitions consists of four heavy yet driving melodic riffs. I’d say a point of reference would be Good Riddance with the heavier parts of later Propagandhi, when they became heavier and less melodic. Probably a result of a few members’ past history in the Fat Wreck Chords influenced band Bad Korea. This EP remained in my rotation for the rest of 2021 as well all far into 2022.
In mid-2022 Mean Jesus acquired a new singer/frontman Ian to the band. Dubbing themselves jokingly as “MJC 2.0″) on an Instagram post in July. I and all the friends I had turned the band on to for the last year were interested in how a new singer/frontman would affect the band. In December those of us who had not had the opportunity to see them found out on the release of the Abomination album.
Right off the back Track 1 “Goat Thrower ” shows the band has retained the heaviness of the previous material. One difference is the new singer has more strained sounding vocals than the previous one. This actually works very well with the tad bit heavier and more aggressive music. It is also reinforced on Track 2, the slower “Message”. This song is also highlighted by some gang vocals near the end of the track. The album again picks up speed on Track 3 “Tone Attorney”. The track does slow up just enough for a hardcore breakdown towards the middle of the song.
Track 4 “Pursuit of Guilt” is a rerecording of a song on their previous EP. This time without the Blues Brothers sample at the beginning. It’s also a little bit heavier to match the new vocals. This is also probably the most melodic song on the album with its triumphant sounding guitar and sing along vocals towards the end of the song.
Trac 5 “Panamana Sunrise”, previously released as a single a month or so before the album follows. It again is on the melodic side of the album but also has such awesome driving guitars throughout. There are also some harmonies present on the outro.
Track 6 “Sharked Brain” is a raging thrasher. Probably the fastest on the album. It almost breaks out in melody at one point but then slows down and continues to intensely chug along until the end,
Track 7 “Greed Overgrown” with its Unbroken or early Converge-esque dive bomb alarm ringing guitars closes out the albums. Of course leaving me and all those people I turned the band on to, thoroughly satisfied.
Overall I’d say the album is a fine progression from their last EP. The songs get just a tad less melodic, weighted out well by some added heaviness, totally adjusting well to the new singer’s vocals. I am pretty sure Abomination is not yet available in a physical form (although the band’ social media say tapes are coming soon) so make sure to buy it on Bandcamp or stream it on your service of choice.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/abomination/1716272273