|Why Are We Not Perfect?|
|Released||19 August 2008|
|Genre||Post-rock, shoegazing, ambient|
|Label||Hydra Head Records|
|The Aquarian Weekly||A-|
Why Are We Not Perfect? is the fifth EP release by the post-metal band Jesu. It was released on 19 August 2008 via Hydra Head Records.
Post-metal is a style of music that is rooted in heavy metal but explores approaches beyond the genre's conventions. It emerged in the 1990s through the work of bands such as Neurosis and Godflesh who transformed metal texture through experimental composition. Associated with and inspired by post-rock and post-hardcore, the genre employs the darkness and intensity of extreme metal but emphasizes atmosphere, emotion, and even "revelation", drawing on a wide range of sources including ambient, noise, psychedelic, progressive, and classical music to develop an expansive but introspective sound. Post-metal songs are typically long, with loose and layered structures that discard the verse–chorus form in favor of crescendos and repeating themes. The sound centres on guitars and drums; any vocals are usually screamed or growled and resemble an additional instrument.
Jesu is a British experimental band formed in 2003 by Justin Broadrick following the 2002 breakup of his band Godflesh. It is named after the last song on Hymns, the final album of Godflesh's initial run. Jesu's sound is heavily layered and textured, incorporating a diverse mix of influences. Broadrick himself has stated that "...it's very loosely speaking pop/rock/metal/electronica ... I'm intentionally writing what I consider to be coherent "pop" songs".
Hydra Head Records is an independent record label that specializes in extreme metal music, founded in New Mexico by Aaron Turner in 1993. It has another imprint, Hydra Head Noise Industries, which specializes in experimental and noise music.
The EP contains Jesu's tracks from the band's split with the ambient musician Eluvium, named Jesu / Eluvium , along with an alternative version for the each song.
Ambient music is a genre of music that emphasizes tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. A form of slow instrumental music, it uses repetitive, but gentle, soothing sound patterns that can be described as sonic wallpaper to complement or alter one’s space and to generate a sense of calmness. The genre is said to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual", or "unobtrusive" quality.
Eluvium is the moniker of the American ambient recording artist Matthew Cooper, who currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Cooper, who was born in Tennessee and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, before relocating to the Northwest, is known for blending various genres of experimental music including electronic, minimalism and piano. His albums often feature artwork and photographs by Jeannie Paske.
Jesu / Eluvium is a split LP between Justin Broadrick's Jesu and Matthew Cooper's Eluvium. It was released through Hydra Head Records on July 5, 2007. The album was recorded at Broadrick's own Avalanche Studio. Broadrick and Cooper wrote, recorded and mixed their respective tracks with John Golden mastering all tracks. Broadrick featured the tracks he had produced later on the Jesu release Why Are We Not Perfect?.
On 9 September the EP was streamed online via the official website of the record.
According to Robbie Mackey of Pitchfork Media, the EP shows a further departure from the band's post-metal style in favor of an exploration of melodic shoegazing sound and occasional trip hop elements.The album was also compared to Slowdive's works. Jason Jackowokiak of The Fader also noted that the alternative version of "Farewell" could be "the most serene track Broadrick’s ever committed to tape" with its "a loping miasma of distant voices, splintered harmonium drones and stuttering breakbeats."
Shoegazing is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It is characterized by its ethereal-sounding mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume. The term "shoegazing" was coined by the British music press to ridicule the stage presence of a wave of neo-psychedelic groups who stood still during live performances in a detached, introspective, non-confrontational state with their heads down. This was because the heavy use of effects pedals meant the performers were often looking down at the readouts on their effects pedals during concerts.
Trip hop is a musical genre that originated in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, especially Bristol. It has been described as "a fusion of hip hop and electronica until neither genre is recognizable", and may incorporate a variety of styles, including funk, dub, soul, psychedelia, R&B, and house, as well as other forms of electronic music. Trip hop can be highly experimental.
Slowdive are an English rock band that formed in Reading, Berkshire in 1989. The band consists of Rachel Goswell on vocals and guitar, Simon Scott on drums, Neil Halstead on vocals and guitar, Nick Chaplin on bass and Christian Savill on guitar. Several other drummers also briefly played with the band, including Adrian Sell, Neil Carter and Ian McCutcheon. Halstead is the band's primary songwriter.
† indicates a track exclusive to the Japanese edition of the album.
The personnel, as adapted from Discogs :
Justin Karl Michael Broadrick is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer. He is best known as a founding member of the band Godflesh, one of the first bands to combine elements of extreme metal and industrial music. He was briefly in the English grindcore band Napalm Death when he was a teenager in the mid-1980s, writing and recording guitar for Side One of Napalm Death's debut album, Scum. Broadrick has also maintained a parallel career as a producer, producing records and remixes for groups such as Pantera, Isis, Mogwai and Hydra Head labelmates Pelican. Since 2012, he has been releasing hard techno music under the solo moniker JK Flesh. Broadrick has set up record labels such as HeadDirt, Avalanche Recordings, Post Mortem Productions, Lo Fibre and Heartache.
Aaron Turner is an American musician, singer, graphic artist, and founder of label Hydra Head Records. He is most widely known for his role as guitarist and vocalist for the post-metal bands SUMAC and Isis, while also participating in several other bands and projects such as Old Man Gloom, Lotus Eaters and Split Cranium, a collaboration with Jussi Lehtisalo of Finnish band Circle who toured with Isis in 2009.