BREAKING SOUNDS: Yussuf Jerusalem LP

posted Thursday Dec 4th, 2008

The debut album from the mysteriously veiled French dude, Yussuf Jerusalem just recently came out on Floridas Dying, titled A Heart Full of Sorrow. Also having played under the banner of Yussuf Jerusalem and the Riders of Allah, the imagery on his myspace site pokes at Western Culture's embedded fear of cave dwelling dudes in black hoods whose jihad-fueled hatred burns in the secluded cliffs of a mountain in Afghanistan. Coupled with the death metal imagery on his debut album, which visually brings to mind old world monks casting spells in burlap ropes, one might expect something completely different from this record once the needle hits the grooves. But these are different times we are living in, and now a band that plays weird, folky, and vaguely gloomy music can open their debut release with a death metal tune if they want. Mr. Jerusalem proves so by doing just that, as if his intent were to scare off the toe-dipping hipsters before the record slips into the good stuff.

The next song is the title track, which plays out perfectly sounding like something you'd hear from Roky Erickson before his big flip-out with a gloomy waltz that maniacally builds into the chorus, and is perfectly glossed over with fuzz. But as the album plays on, Yussuf crams the sinister hits from all sorts of angles, leaving the 60s garage by the wayside for self-loathing bedroom twang in "The One You Really Want," to the perfectly self-assured and hooky "We Ain't Coming Back." A great album all around and a perfect choice for Florida's Dying's first full-length release. Pick it up here.