The band is known for their lengthy, surprisingly soothing "metalgaze." Broadrick's lyrics are both personal and political, and somehow work for the genre. Shoegazing is known for being difficult in making a message in the music, seeing as vocals are usually not really worked with. Somehow Jesu succeeds in giving their music "something to say."
Their 3 albums and several EPs have gotten critical recognition matching shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine. To say that this band is epic is an understatement.
Band members (Current):
- Justin Broadrick: Vocals, guitar, bass, electronics
- Diarmuid Dalton: Bass
- Ted Parsons: Drums
Band members (Past):
- Phil Petrocelli: Drums
- Aaron Harris: Drums (Live)
- Danny Walker: Drums (Live)
- Dave Cochran: Bass
- Heart Ache (EP, 2004)
- Jesu (2005)
- Silver (EP, 2006)
- Conqueror (2007)
- Sundown/Sunrise (EP, 2007)
- Lifeline (EP, 2007)
- Why Are We Not Perfect (EP, 2008)
- Infinity (2009)
- Opiate Sun (EP, 2009)
- Christmas (EP, 2010)
- Ascension (2011)
- Every Day I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came (2013)
- Jesu / Sun Kil Moon (Collaboration, 2016)
- 30 Seconds to the Decline of Planet Earth (Collaboration with Sun Kil Moon, 2017)
Jesu contains examples of the following tropes:
- Anti-Love Song: Quite a few of their songs have this theme.
- Christmas Episode: They have a Christmas EP.
- Cover Version: Recorded a cover of "The Funeral Party" by The Cure for a tribute compilation and "Chapter 24" by Pink Floyd for a tribute record to Syd Barrett.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Most of their album covers.
- Dream Team: They released a collaboration album with the folk rock band Sun Kil Moon, with Jesu providing the music and Sun Kil Moon providing all the vocals. Most agreed it turned out pretty well.
- Drone of Dread: Shows up in some of their darker songs.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: Many songs, but the best is probably "Heart Ache" on the band's debut EP, which starts with a dark instrumental section that sounds a lot like Godflesh, before transitioning into a Lighter and Softer section more typical of the band, and then the vocal section. All in all, it takes about 8 minutes for the vocals to show up in the song. Other songs that use this prominently include "Sun Down", "Sun Rise", "Friends are Evil", and "Infinity".
- Epic Rocking: Many, many times. Most of their songs are over 7 minutes long, with a few surpassing 15 minutes, and the one song Infinity EP being 40 minutes in total.
- Establishing Series Moment: The debut EP Heart Ache does this with its first track, which starts off sounding a lot like Godflesh before it lightens into the band's normal, shoegazey sound, serving almost as an introduction or mission statement for the band.
- Genre-Busting: They mix together elements of shoegaze, post-metal, and industrial into a very distinctive, cohesive sound.
- Green Aesop: "Mother Earth"
- Harsh Vocals: "Man/Woman" sees Justin using the same style of harsh yells he used in Godflesh, the sole instance of this in the band's discography.
- I Am the Band: Justin Broadrick is the only constant member of Jesu as well as the sole composer of the band, with various other members providing instrumentation either live or in the studio.
- Lighter and Softer:
- Conqueror is this to their debut, sounding much more upbeat and optimistic while the self-titled record had a more downcast, melancholy atmosphere.
- The whole project can be seen as a Lighter and Softer Godflesh. Both bands share the same sonic foundations (repetitive downtuned guitar and prominent bass), but Jesu trades the bleak and menacing atmosphere of Godflesh for a warmer, pastoral sound.
- Limited Lyrics Song: Most of their songs will just repeat a couple lines of lyrics over and over for the duration. Averted with their Sun Kil Moon collaborations, which feature Mark Kozelek's signature highly verbose lyrics.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Their lyrics are quite depressing despite how soothing their music sounds.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: Most of their album covers are simple photographs of cityscapes or nature.
- Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Works surprisingly well against metal.
- Self-Titled Album: Their first full length album.
- Song Style Shift: "Heart Ache" starts as gritty industrial metal before it grows Lighter and Softer and introduces the band's sound.
- Textless Album Cover: Almost all of them.