Rock and Roll and Electronica have been slowly merging for decades now, complacently blurring the lines of which genre is which. Many bands have successfully found a niche among the younger generation of club goers by infusing Post-Punk sensibilities with sharp electronic wizardry. Largest among these currently are Dope Stars Inc. and the newly retooled Combichrist but following in the same aggressive vein is Essen, Germany’s Jesus On Extasy. Formed as a Rock band in 2005 they self-produced the single Assassinate Me (a solid remix of a Sascha Konietzko track), which nabbed them a deal with Drakkar Entertainment. They have opened in Europe for bands such as L’Ame Immortelle and Eisbrecher and released the albums Beloved Enemy (2007) and Holy Beauty (2008). Coupling this with music festival spots and underground radio, these albums were recently re-released on Artoffact Records along with their newest entry, No Gods.
To describe their sound is fairly difficult given that it is closest to Post-Punk or Digicore but utilizes more synthetic layering than this might suggest. They are loud, aggressive, guitar driven and filled with enough melody to keep purists entertained. The vocals are clear and the lyrics are solid which sets them a bit apart from bands of similar ilk. The title track has a piano-backed, guitar-mad, melodic Metal tempo that sets the album off to a great start. “Riot” and “Intoxicated” could easily become niche-genre Electro anthems for disaffected upstart youth, while “Movie Star” plays up the excesses of film-soundtrack-gone-wrong by way of angry ballad. The album closes out with a club remix of “Revenge” which absolutely lives up to its billing as a blistering TBM floor-filler that needs to see more exposure.
The problem here for me, if it even should be called that, is the lack of slick production and mastering. Every track sounds a bit roughshod, almost live in a recorded-from-the-soundboard way. Most bands go the opposite direction and overproduce the ever-loving crap out of what is clearly not-quite-solid music in the hopes it sounds better. It seems almost ironic to me that with J.O.E.’s already proven electronic know-how and enthusiasm (a la acts like Dope Stars Inc. and Zeromancer) the sound quality feels almost like a letdown since we do not have the full shine treatment on what is obviously an otherwise strong album. Still, No Gods is approaching a must-have album for fans who already flock to Electro Rock naturally and Jesus On Extasy is a band to keep an eye on in the near future.
Must have tracks: “Revenge,” “No Gods,” “Riot,” “Intoxicated,” “Movie Star,” “Shelter Me,” “Revenge (Club Remix).”
For fans of: Zeromancer, Babyland, Mission UK, W.A.S.T.E., Battery Cage, Terminal Choice, Dope Stars Inc., Apoptygma Berzerk, Eisbrecher, The Birthday Massacre, Angelspit.