You could call them anything else and they’d still be great but The Jesus Loves Heroin Band’s music like their name makes you sit up and take notice. From the get go ‘Slow Fever' throws a rusty spanner into the cog’s of the Simon Cowell ‘music machine’ and then pours paint remover over its glossy finish. Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t anti-pop, just anti-bullshit. With only 'Leave Me Cold' breaking the 3 minute mark these guys have the knack of creating perfectly crafted tunes that include statements of grandeur without every needing to venture into space odyssey-esque territory. Sure their influences are highly visible, they fuse elements of country with 60’s garage rock and surf pop but rather than just lunching out on a portion of Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets The Jesus Loves Heroin Band tend to stray from the original recipe and a add a few ingredients of their own. Where as the garage bands of the 60’s could seem a little 2D at times, ‘Slow Fever’ has a more rounded quality to it which makes it instantly and effortlessly engaging. Tales of hurt, loss and heartache can be found underneath the 3-chord verses and spring reverb tales which are merged with a ‘fuck-you’ rock’n’roll spirit that means wallowing and self-loathing are shaken loose and left lagging in the distance. Frontman Nick Wheeldon’s voice delivers weight to this message and catapults the lyrics home to great effect. Whatever Wheeldon lacks in the way of Erickson-esque feral pitches he graciously makes up for with an even keel of solid cool. In conclusion ‘Slow Fever’ is a self-funded, low-fi gem that needs to be unearthed and this talented collective blister through their material like a coke-fuelled steam train sparking a hectic energy that seems to be lacking in the music of many of their contemporaries. Having jumped back to the past for their influences these guys are staring into a bright future and it’s about time you found out why.
By Daniel Raymond
released April 6, 2011
Drums on 'Death Waltz' by Bruce Sargent
Background Shouting on 'Death Waltz' by Andrew Anderson & Bruce Sargent.
Backing Vox on 'Mistakes' & 'Leave Me Cold' by Heather Hyden.
Drums & Backing Vox on 'Never Again' by Andrew Anderson.
Mixed & Produced by Nick Wheeldon.
Mastered by Ben Nicholson at Alive Audio Ltd.
Artwork by Coline Loison.
Recorded in Over Haddon & Sheffield 2008/2009.
All Songs (c) Nick Wheeldon/The Jesus Loves Heroin Band