Osaka lo-fi trio Jesus Weekend have been getting a lot of attention in indie circles lately, partly thanks to their association with buzzy web label Ano(t)racks and their appearance on a split cassette with Miila and The Geeks. This four-song demo CD/R suggests a lot of potential if and when they decide what kind of band they really are. Most of the EP is characterised by harsh yet melodic, droning synth, with opening track Prisoner of Lies layering the vocals 4AD-style over the simple four-note melody, while the instrumental Sunshine Lake has a more subtly nuanced melody and closing track Animal Suicides has the faintly menacing edge of an 80s John Carpenter soundtrack.
The odd one out is Puberty Bell, also featured on the Miila and The Geeks split, and here Jesus Weekend sound like a completely different band. It shambles along like The Raincoats, vocalist Seira starting out cooing the lyrics in that childlike, over-precisely enunciated way that many Japanese indiepop bands have, before the melody shifts into a more bluesy register and she reveals a hidden side to herself that resembles a sort of teenage Japanese Tanya Donelly. The shift to the more sexually mature sounding, world weary blues melody from the sweet and girly intro is a short step but also an unexpected one, which crosses an invisible line, sending a little thrill with it, a subliminal sensation of transgression.
It’s hard to judge from this demo EP what kind of band Jesus Weekend are or will become, and which direction they go from here is anyone’s guess. Their Soundcloud page also has stuff ranging from what you could almost call industrial to material skirting the fringes of krautrock, but at the very least, this collection demonstrates that the band have options.