"I wanna be the one who rolls you over," croons Jeff Klein huskily on "Mono," a paean to being the only one left deathbedside. Such sentiments serve notice that Klein's days as a heralded Austin singer-songwriter are finito in favor of this gritty yet atmospheric ensemble. My Jerusalem's second LP wavers betwixt "He's OK, I guess" and "He's a sonofabitch, but what are you gonna do?" On both wild-eyed rockers, like "Death Valley" and the title rant, and saturnine lopers, including "Shatter Together" and "Devoe," the band soaks romantic obsession in a cinematic pool of brooding rock, minor-key country, and apostate gospel. The band's arty interpretation of Americana feeds on unhealthy emotion as much as rugged melody, though Klein smartly parts the clouds with breezier fare like "Oh Little Sister" and "This Time." "Where did I go wrong?" he laments on "Between Space." Whether his self-awareness comes as an apology or a feint is something only multiple spins can reveal.
Copyright © 2013 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.