ALBUM: Big Jesus – Oneiric
September 30th, 2016
Back in 1966, John Lennon pissed off everyone by claiming that The Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” He then went on to marry Yoko Ono and became a full-time hippie, so we can assume that he was an idiot. Fifty years later, an Atlanta four piece have learned from past mistakes and claimed that 1.) Jesus was indeed big, and 2.) they are equally as, but no bigger, than him.
Yet, with a sensible band name comes a less than sensible, unpronounceable album title: ‘Oneiric’. This is the debut full-length album from Big Jesus, and, as soon as the crunchy as corn flakes riffs blast across your speakers and onto your unsuspecting ear drums, you will instantly be hooked.
Now, there’s a reason for this, one that initially will cause your brow to furrow. You see, Big Jesus possess a sound that is identical to that of the 90s alt rock scene that was dominated by the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins.
Basically, it’s another example of the nostalgia craze that is polluting pretty much every medium right now. This album is full of member berries, from the grungy, Silversun Pickups-esque riffs, to the ethereal, floaty vocals akin to those of Trust Company. “Oooooooooh, ‘member ‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’? Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah! I ‘member Queens Of The Stone Age! Yeah, I ‘member!”
However, as the album progresses, you’ll start to realise that this nostalgia cash-in isn’t as nefarious as it originally appeared. Far from it, in fact, because Big Jesus are clearly heavily influenced by the aforementioned bands, and as a consequence they do sound near identical, much like how Dinosaur Pile-Up are essentially Nirvana Lite.
There’s a sincerity to Big Jesus‘ music, and their earnest approach to making the music they want to make is admirable (as well as ‘Oneiric’ being a belter of an album too). That said, there are times when the line between influenced by and ripped off is notably blurred.
As far as debut releases go, ‘Oneiric’ is certainly one to be proud of. Although a tad samey in places, Big Jesus have crafted a fine album with many high-points, and is one that they should be proud of. You’ve found your sound lads, and it sounds good, now go and explore it on album number two.
Written by Andy Roberts (@sassensquatch)