At first listen, the debut full-length album from Chicago-based rockers Young Jesus reminds the listener of something older. It doesn’t quite fit the mold of the dreamy-indie scene that we have seen coming out of Chicago so frequently recently. Instead, their sound is more comparable to the vocals of Jim Morrison (not totally, but close enough!) coupled with the instrumentation of a band like The DoDos.
The vocals and instrumentation, although they at times seem to conflict, mostly create something that is as compelling as it is ear-pleasing! The album’s starter track “Family and Friends” is almost perfect at exemplifying this, including lead singer John Rossiter’s scream which is very reminiscent of a certain lead singer from The Doors. After this song, the album continues to be a journey of electric guitar riffed goodness, engaging in fast paced songs like “Away” (the first single off of Home, the debut album), yet also engaging in slow songs like the 8 minute ballad “Not Quite Dead”.
At times, Rossiter’s yelling can get a little too extreme, to the point of distracting. This is especially true when a song starts out in a very calm way, and eventually spirals down to yelling. Other than that though, Home is a fantastic debut effort by Young Jesus. My biggest fear about this band is that they will fall into indie-rock obscurity because their sound (at least instrumentally) is very similar to that which is popular across the genre. Their saving grace, I think, is the depth and thickness of the vocals, and how those combine with the instrumentation to make a fairly unique sound.
Definitely check out this album if you get the chance. You won’t regret it. This definitely marks an up and coming facet of the Chicago rock scene, which as well all know, is no slouch.
Rating: W — P — G
Key Tracks: “Family and Friends”, “Not Quite Dead”, and “Away”
RIYL: The Doors, Cloud Nothings, and Smith Westerns
Check out : “Family and Friends” here: