My Jerusalem

A Little Death (Washington Square Music)

Texas Platters

To paraphrase: Rock isn't dead, it just smells funny. Frank Zappa spoke of jazz at the time, but its blues offshoot cousin today lacks any sort of bleeding edge, which then lends the format a peculiar odor. My Jerusalem, the Austin quartet led by the nearly always brooding Jeff Klein, isn't reinventing the genre, but they imbue it with a much-needed sense of danger in a style splitting the difference between Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and Echo & the Bunnymen. A Little Death falls in line with the group's two previous LPs, and Klein's meaty solo work that preceded those, yet it's more fully realized in its dark intensity and broadly painted soundscapes. The title turns on the French term for orgasm, yet thematically it concerns itself with the consequences of the real-life passing of Klein's mother, fate and luck colliding head-on. The murky, yet strutting "Young Leather" leads off, "Dominoes" possesses a hooky chorus that defies its serious rage, and the Spanish Harlem beats and full-on Phil Spectorish production of "No One Gonna Give You Love" moves toward Willy DeVille in a manner that's completely new for My Jerusalem.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More My Jerusalem
Free Week Live Shots Part 1
Ume, the Calm Blue Sea, the Black & White Years, My Jerusalem
Highlights from first half of Free Week

Doug Freeman, Jan. 11, 2013

Phases & Stages
My Jerusalem
Preachers (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Nov. 23, 2012

More Music Reviews
The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

Texas Platters
Bayonne
Drastic Measures (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, May 3, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

My Jerusalem

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle