Released: 2006, Relapse Records
Apparently Georgian power-duo Jucifer made quite the splash with their previous full-length, I NAME YOU DESTROYER, in 2002. In total, they’ve released four albums – all of which have passed me by. In 2006 the band (vocalist Amber Valentine and multi-instrumentalist Edgar Livengood) returned with their newest opus. Their bio names just about every musical genre you can think of as part of the band’s sound, so I was quite interested to hear this album. Just what is this band all about?
Opener “She Tides the Deep” is a doom-ridden horror-scape of sparse droning instrumentation and ethereal vocals. Impressively, this grinding song remains interesting for its entire7+ minutes. The following “Centralia” is even sparser, crawling along at a pace that makes snails appear fast in comparison. “Lucky Ones Burn” approaches a fried crispy version of stoner rock, with an admittedly catchy riff and insidiously melodic vocal from Valentine. OK, it’s different than the first two songs, but certainly entertaining.
Unfortunately the rest of the album devolves into atonal alt-rock that is as annoying now as it was during it’s heyday in the mid-‘90’s. Of course I’m generalizing, as interesting riffs do manage to come up for air amongst the muck (“Pontius of Palia”, “In a Family Way”), but overall, the closing two thirds of this album is dreck. What a band that’s “for fans of White Stripes, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, Mars Volta…” is doing on Relapse I’ll never know. What I do know is as follows – this album bores the living hell out of me.