I think Jesu’s Justin Broadrick is in the middle of some kind of EP addiction. I’ve talked to him about this, when his last EP, Lifeline, came out in October of last year, and he stopped short of promising me that he planned to scale back his releases for 2008.
He had released three EPs, one split, and one full- length album in 2007, as well as a limited edition full-length of unreleased material. I was like “Whoa, Justin, may want to slow down there. Not good for the old ticker.” He did, at least a little, only collaborating with Jarboe on the J2 CD that was released early this year.
But just recently, he’s fallen off the wagon. He’s on two splits in two months, one of which was just released last week with Brooklyn’s Battle Of Mice and the other last month with Japan’s Envy, and now he’s out with this EP, Why Are We Not Perfect, which consists of two songs, one instrumental, and alternate versions of the two songs.
Whether or not he’s planning to unleash another wave of short releases in the coming months, the release-happy Broadrick has already started to phase himself out of notability. Seemingly intent on attracting only the most rabid, collector-type fan with this prodigious output, there’s a lingering fear that it’s starting to interfere with his artistic progression. The J2 release stepped outside of his self-imposed shell for a bit, but it seems he’s on to old habits on Not Perfect, and the sweeping grandeur and genius of Jesu and Conqueror are now well-trodden ground, without finding new paths in the fanciful wilderness of Jesu, only underscored by the two alternate takes here.
Jesu’s reclusive nature is starting to take its toll.
On the other hand, it could be a perspective issue. We’re only talking about 18 months since his last full-length, which is a short time in, let’s say, Napalm Death’s world, and few expect grand, sweeping stylistic changes from most acts in that sort of schedule. Broadrick may be a victim of his own ability, like a mathematics wunderkind that instead focuses on knitting. I’m insisting that he blow my mind with every release, and that’s just not reasonable. But when there are so many releases, it wears on you.