Jodis consists of Aaron Turner (Isis, Mamiffer, Old Man Gloom, House of Low Culture, Lotus Eaters, etc.), James Plotkin (Khanate, O.L.D.), and Tim Wyskida (Khanate, Blind Idiot God); Their first album, Secret House, was released by Hydra Head on CD and 2xLP in 2009, and though the members are perhaps best known for their metal exploits, the album was decidedly un-metal in its approach to creating heavy music. Though distorted guitars played an important part in the sound of Secret House, the aim was to go in a more minimalist direction, using space and quiet to enhance the mood. The end product was a solid record, though at times it seemed a bit sluggish and meandered aimlessly a little too much. The potential was there, however, and I had high hopes that another record might be able to better harness the limitless creative capacities of the individual members of the band.
Black Curtain is the title of the new LP, out on October 2nd via Hydra Head, and it definitely delivers on the promise of the debut. While the approach is pretty much the same, the new album seems more focused, with a more defined purpose. The heavy guitars and minimalist approach again play an integral part in creating these songs, but the atmosphere here is easier to grasp, and some well-placed drums create a more welcoming yet powerful environment. The vocals are also more soulful, more emotional, more inviting and alluring, and contribute heavily to the more refined sound on this record.
The album is streaming in its entirety here, one full week before the official release. With Hydra Head's struggles and imminent closing already well-documented, you are of course encouraged to pre-order the CD and/or vinyl edition of this immediately (the vinyl comes with a free download). Sige Records will also be releasing a double cassette containing both Jodis albums later in August, with new artwork by Mamiffer's Faith Coloccia and full lyrics.