Mean Jesus have been bringing forth a strain of melodic hardcore since forming a couple of years ago. The Virginia band's debut release is a 4-track 7-inch entitled Noble Ambitions, and while the vinyl version has been delayed, it's streaming in all its glory below for you to check out.
"All of us come from a series of different bands over the years, [drummer] John [DiGiorgio] had a stint in Canephora and Converge, I was in Invaluable, [bassist] Ryan [Loftis] in Averman and [guitarist] Matt [Singleton] in Murphys Kids," Mean Jesus guitarist/vocalist Keith Baillargeon tells No Echo.
"Ryan and I played in a punk band called Bad Korea for a few years which fell apart in 2017. We decided to start the band back up and that's when I called John. A couple of riffs into the first practice we quickly realized this was going to be way different than Bad Korea, so we ditched the name and started fresh with Mean Jesus. Ryan brought Matt into the fold to handle second guitar and that was that."
Keith—who is also a contributing photographer to No Echo—explains Mean Jesus' shared influences: "Initially we set out to write songs in the vein of bands like Avail, Samiam, and pretty much every Dan Yemin band. We didn't want to set a limit for ourselves to just that, so we pulled from all of our individual influences and combined everything into this weird melting pot we call Mean Jesus.
"There's a lot of fast sections, there's heavier moments, and there's weird stuff. It's cool to be able to do something like that and still be able to stay close to what your original goal was."
"Lyrically, Noble Ambitions is a mix of social and personal themes," says Keith. "Loneliness, seclusion, police brutality, and just an overall feeling of dread. There was a lot going on socially and personally when we were writing this EP so I was able to pull a lot of influence from there."
Since he not only plays in Mean Jesus, but is also out shooting tons of shows in his area, No Echo asks Keith about the scene there.
"Here in Norfolk, we have some really cool stuff going on. Bands like Demons, Crime Line, and all the stuff Not For The Weak Records are doing is sick. They (NFTW) had a venue/recording studio up until recently, but the fire marshall pulled the plug on them. They have something new in the works, and it'll be awesome to check it out."
Keith says Mean Jesus is working up new material for a possible release later this year, in addition to booking as many shows as they can throughout the coming months.
Noble Ambitions is available on vinyl via GGT Records.
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