Described as being influenced by Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine, there really is no modern equivalent to Big Jesus. Oneiric sees the band take fairly heavy (almost doom-y at times) styled riffs and guitar and matching it to some of the most emotionally gripping vocals in music, this is a band which is taking 2016 in their own direction. It is often hard to gauge with a band like this how big they will end up getting, but if the world is a fair place Big Jesus have the talent and songs to become one of the next big bands in the world of rock music.
Vocalist Spencer Ussey is arguably the star of the band singing in quite a soft and direct manner which feels like he’s addressing the audience directly. This feels even clearer and imperative when the lyrics are so deep with songs such as Shrimp (which is essentially the ballad on the album) having lines such as “Never Sound Sorry To You” and Shards with the line “I Feel Shaken”. To read into what some of these lines and metaphors mean to the band can be quite interesting and really make Big Jesus the talented act it needs to be.
The heaviness from the track is shown from the vast arrangement of Grunge and even Stoner Rock (at points) inspired instrumentation. Spencer’s bass on tracks such as Oneirica and the guitar lines on tracks such as the solo on Always by CJ Ridings and Thomas Gonzalez. These elements make the track multidimensional and don’t just make the album an emo album. Without these members the word Grunge would likely not apply to this band but due to their heavy involvement it is safe to say this band is a definitive Grunge act.
Finally the role of the drummer Joe Sweat makes a few different elements applicable on this record. Taken from a heavier track such as Lock & Key the musician adds to the intense Grunge elements of the release, on longer epic Heaviest Heart he plays quietly to introduce the softer sound of Spencer’s voice to guide the album to a satisfying conclusion. What is indisputably his moment on the release is on Oneiric where he plays quite an incredible drum solo. It is rare the drummer is what remains memorable on this record but thankfully in the case of Big Jesus his work is not just wanted, it’s needed.
Overall, it is quite strange to say Grunge or Emo has returned but in the case of Big Jesus, this is honestly the best way to describe Oneiric. Definitely a band who reminisces fans of the past but to bring it up to date in the 21st Century and to do it well, which is a talent few bands today possess. Big Jesus deserve to be the next big rock band and thankfully Oneiric explains why.