Review Summary: Ridiculous band name aside, Desert Mouth is the start of something special...
Electric Jesus are:
Guitar & Vocals: David McGuire
Drums: John McGuire
Bass: Mike Maio
Electric Jesus, the artists formerly known as Secrets in Scale, are an Australian group that have crafted an extremely catchy, well executed, and downright fun alt-rock record. The most evident appeal in my eyes (or ears) is the complete lack of computer effects-laden fluff that we’ve sadly grown accustomed too in rock. From start to finish you’re exposed to nothing but the piano, guitar, bass, and drums. The latter three are examples of one of the more talented uses of these instruments in the genre. The guitars can be compared (loosely) to Thomas Erak in his early Fall of Troy days and songs like Hero Boy and She-Devil let one see why these comparisons are not entirely crazy. The complexity of the music obviously isn’t astronomically high but the instruments all complement each other nicely and while the guitar play is obviously the highlight, it never hogs all the sound at any one time.
Much like the Fall of Troy the vocalist does dual duties of guitar and singing. This leads to some very good licks and riffs that a singular guitarist can come up with without the distraction of having to sync your work with another member’s. Catchy and well-written riffs will be a main point of joy to most while listening to Desert Mouth.
The vocals are a point of worry as his voice is distinct and has the potential to turn some people off. Also due to the dual duties mentioned earlier, McGuire has a tendency to resort to singing a bunch of long notes over his guitar playing much like old Circa Survive. While he hits the higher notes you can sometimes tell he’s straining for his voice not to crack. The good thing is this isn’t distracting and you’d have to actually listen for it to notice. Another problem that is more noticeable is the song structure. While starting off slowly and building into a fast paced conclusion is perfectly acceptable for a few songs on an album, Desert Mouth tends to rely a little too heavily on this arrangement and it would do better with a little more variety.
These minor things against the band are something that is to be expected from an initial release. If these guys can acquire the attention they deserve, subsequent releases can iron out these problems with nothing more than further practice at their craft.
The fast paced parts are a downright joy to listen to, with the drum fillers and the frantic guitar meshing together seamlessly and the bass providing an excellent sense of “oomph” to the entire package. Coming in at a healthy thirteen songs ranging from the guitar frenzy of Defile Defile to the weird spacey drums of Monkey Island, this album is a refreshing step into the realm of technical alt-rock. If you can look past the ridiculous name of the band, Desert Mouth will definitely satisfy your need for pure alt-rock.