Song of the Day: Jupiter James - Overload

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Lo-fi indie rock never made a huge impact in the Christian scene. To be fair, it was a niche market even in mainstream circles. Beck and R.E.M. were the only 2 artists to break out of the underground, and both of those bands more or less ditched their lo-fi roots to do so (Beck only temporarily). I can only think of a handful of Christian-themed lo-fi bands: Jetenderpaul, Danielson Famile, Pedro the Lion (early stuff), Sappo, Joe Christmas, and some early Damien Jurado projects.

Enter Jupiter James. Velvet Blue Music’s Jeff Cloud once described them as the Smiths meets Black Sabbath, and the alarming thing is how accurate that is. They had the riffage of Starflyer 59, without the layers of fuzz and noise, the effortless crooning of Seam or Palace Music, but they rocked harder than either of those bands. Yes, Jupiter James was an original. Their sole full-length “Called as Paul” always left me wanting more, but aside from a pair of 7-inches, that desire would never be satisfied. Members turned up in other projects, including The Emergency with their lone album “Enemy Ships,” but that was a different species of indie rock beast.

“Overload” is my favorite track on the album, with its subtle qualities and honest and bizarrely touching lyrics: “I’m on another planet, and my rocket has no fuel to bring me home. I feel down, like a lonely circus clown.” (Is that a veiled reference to Superchunk?) Priceless.

Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk2EwDp1Pg4

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