Sometimes you discover a band or artist that seems to allign itself perfectly with your state of mind or way of thinking at a particular time.
For me, this six piece Lancaster/ Bentham band’s sound, outlook, style and sense of humour has done that very thing, and I’ve not stopped listening to this album since it arrived a few weeks ago.
From the off, Stronger Than Jesus makes for special listening.
Strip Me Down is one of the most honest love songs I’ve heard in a long while. A spine tingling account of one person’s desire for another. It’s a power ballad, and I mean that in a good way.
The next three tracks – Dying, I F–ing Love You, and Don’t Take The P*ss (and the spoken words inbetween) – assume a different tone that the band has become notorious for.
On one hand they appear as a deep south American “Jesus-lovin’ God fearin’” set of brothers and sisters, on the other, they’re as irreverent as they come.
The beauty is in the ensuing confusion, and of course, “how you take the meaning”.
The irreverent theme continues throughout the album. Don’t Take The P–ss is a prime example, not least because it’s “the song that’s going to bring the whole world together”, according to frontman Jimbob on “vocalisation”.
Pony is another stand out track, taking elements of classic country storytelling, bluesy guitar hooks and vocal harmonies to create a seven minute masterpiece.
The song has been immortalised in a stunning music video too.
A deliciously brief cover of Uptown Top Ranking by Althea and Donna that breaks down into fits of giggles changes the flow again, and affords a glimpse of a band that are not all they seem.
Title track Stronger Than Jesus is lyrically brilliant.
The line “It’s a riddle how, we’re still living on, how little we know”, is certainly a topic for debate.
Eight Years Ago and John Doe keep up the pace with some amazingly simple lyrics that have you singing along for days after.
I’m hugely impressed by everything this band is doing at the moment, and they’ve managed to capture the live experience that’s got so many people talking about them on this record.
If you’re easily offended be warned, this album is certainly not for the faint hearted.
Stronger Than Jesus, on samesevennotes, will be on sale at gigs at The Stonewell Tavern on June 22, and The Black Bull in Bentham on July 26.