mon 22/07/2024

CD: Sonic Jesus - Neither Virtue Nor Anger | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sonic Jesus - Neither Virtue Nor Anger

CD: Sonic Jesus - Neither Virtue Nor Anger

Debut album from Italian Psych duo blows the mind and moves the hips

Neither Virtue Nor Anger: psychedelic tunes, motorik grooves

The psych scene is one that has never seemed to really go away since its birth in the mid-60s under the guidance of bands such as the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and Pink Floyd. It may have faded into the background from time to time, but every few years it comes back with something new and interesting added to the recognisable template.

Out of the present incarnation of this crowd, which includes the likes of Swedish tribalists Goat, the hypnotic Wooden Shjips and a slew of bands that have featured on the excellent Reverb Conspiracy compilations, comes Italian duo Sonic Jesus. Their debut album, Neither Virtue Nor Anger is a set of predominantly drone-based psychedelic tunes married to a motorik groove that blows the mind and moves the hips.

Sonic Jesus’ influences may occasionally be glaring, such as on the Black Angels’ pastiche “My Lunacy” and by the beyond-the-grave appearance of William Burroughs, Patron Saint of the Spaced-out, on “Monkey on my Back”. The whole certainly adds up to more than the sum of its parts, however, and Neither Virtue Nor Anger is much more than a retro attempt to recapture something from the distant past. Stand-out tune “Reich” is an unrelenting cacophony of howling synths which underlay a twangy trip with chanted vocals and urgent drumming. “Telegraph” suggests Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd getting it together with original New York electro-punks Suicide, with its pulsating synth groove, reverb-heavy beat and spidery guitar lines, while album closer “Kali Yuga” has a dreamy, off-kilter vibe with bubbling electronics driven by an understated groove.

An 80-odd-minute double album of psych rock might be a bit much to swallow for some, but for those who like their psychedelia fried, Neither Virtue Nor Anger has some very tasty treats.

For those who like their psychedelia fried, 'Neither Virtue Nor Anger' has some very tasty treats


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters