Hydra Head

I can’t believe this is happening. I’m listening to an album by Justin Broadrick, and I can’t wait for it to end. This has never happened before. Even Hymns, arguably the weakest Godflesh album, had some brilliant peaks. But Conqueror – it bores me.

By normal standards, it’s a good album. The songs are pleasant, and the mix is fine, if lacking in heaviness. Drums sound nicely natural, and some cool distorted synths pan around the stereo spectrum. This is a serviceable shoegazer album.

But by Broadrick’s standards (or, more accurately, my standards of his work, as he’s probably happy with the record), it’s immensely disappointing. The reason? It’s lightweight. And not just because seven of the eight songs are in major keys. The previous two Jesu records had some great major key work.

Godflesh succeeded because it plumbed the lower depths of emotion. Jesu also explored those depths, but pushed up through them until it emerged bruised and mud-caked, blinking in the sunlight.

This record, though – it stays in the sun. It just lies there. It’s Ride or My Bloody Valentine tuned down, minus the mystery. The title track is OK, but an album’s worth of it ain’t. There are some “negative lyrics over positive music” that critics might praise. Fuck that.

You crushed me with sound, Justin; you made me feel. Now I am crushed because I feel nothing.