100 Bands in 100 Days Presented by Verity Credit Union — Day 7: Sweet Jesus


Music fans of the Pacific Northwest, hello and welcome back to our third annual year-end daily countdown, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Follow the #100Bands100Days hashtag on Twitter to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician that perhaps you haven’t been turned onto yet, and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today we’re bringing our feature series back to the Emerald City to explore the exploits of weird-punk outfit Sweet Jesus.


Sweet Jesus is a band that has existed in one form or another since the mid-2000s, originally starting as a fairly accessible rock duo whose blues-and folk-informed approach to rock music earned the band a hefty amount of buzz, partly in thanks to an endorsement from KEXP. While Bobby Malvestuto and Chris “Crystal” Pistols were the founding members, the inclusion of Austin Rood and Ryan Fitzsimmons marked a turning point for Sweet Jesus, in which they would find their niche through a post-punk sound that often sounds emotionally light and instantaneous, but beneath their unorthodox post-garage-folk-punk exterior lies an extreme sense of despondence. Often times Sweet Jesus is a sad sappy bunch, but individuals who would rather convey their melancholy through down-and-dirty garage rock guitar leads and catchy vocal melodies, leading to a sound that’s both addictive and in tune with its own emotions, without one aspect outshining the other.

Short Wave Oracle, the band’s full-length studio debut, features their most dynamic set of tracks to date. Trying to pin down Sweet Jesus’ sound is difficult, it really depends on what track you’re listening to, as a track like opener “Aftermath,” between its dueling guitar leads (one serene and folksy, one rigid and driving) and intense crescendo towards the end of the track, sounds pretty different from a track like “Ghost Lady,” whose killer instrumental calls back to so many post-punk greats. While Sweet Jesus isn’t afraid to be poppy at points, they also aren’t willing to play by your rules, man, also dishing out more progressively-structured songs like “Bluebird” and closer “Psychic Bohemia” that take the prowess and chemistry its members have and capitalize on its individual members’ creative talents, effectively fleshing these somewhat loose songs out for six-and-a-half minutes each.

Rock fans of the northwest that are looking for an artful and stylistically varied rock band that’s in tune with its emotions without forcing them onto the listener, Sweet Jesus are as good as it gets.

You can follow Sweet Jesus on Facebook, and keep up with the band through either sweetjesus.bandcamp.com or their official website, sweetjesuslovesyou.com. You can purchase Short Wave Oracle through Knick Knack Records on cassette or digitally. Watch the band’s music video for one of the record’s lead tracks, “Getting Over,” below.

Submissions for 100 Bands in 100 Days are still open to any Pacific Northwest band interested in submission. If you would like to have your band submitted for a chance to be featured in this segment, consult this link for more information on how you can do so.

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