By Alec Warkentin
Woe to those poor souls who may approach a band named Young Jesus hoping for mumblerap and wavy trap beats — this L.A. four-piece is the antithesis of an Internet upbringing.
To unpack that idea, Young Jesus’ debut on Saddle Creek sounds more like a throwback to those patient alt-rock bands of the mid-to-late 90’s (think somewhere between Bedhead and Duster), where the formula is composed of bursts of energy followed by meandering atmospherics.
Composed of seven tracks with one-word titles that fluctuate between two and 12 minutes, S/T is an goddamn experience. From the opening strums of the conventionally-constructed “Green,” to the parting words delivered after the closing beatdown of “Storm,” the world constructed by Young Jesus is all-encompassing.
Take, for example, the penultimate track “Feeling” — easily the highpoint of the album. In just under 10 minutes, the listener is tossed through the motions of undulating guitar, free-form drums, birdsong, snippets of conversation from unseen participants, and winding post-rock interludes as vocalist John Rossiter shouts wildly.
It may sound overwhelming, but it’s not. Nothing is done for its own sake. Everything serves its purpose: to explore the minutiae of the day-to-day. This seems to be the magic of Young Jesus. The lyrics aren’t the most clever and the instrumentation, at points, becomes a little much, but there is something there. It’s not immediately apparent, but it’s undeniably felt. That alone makes it worth the listen.Record Review, S/T, Saddle Creek, Young Jesus