When your band is made up of members of other big acts such as The Twilight Singers and Polyphonic Spree then there’s a certain amount of expectation, a weight on the shoulders, if you will. My Jerusalem were unveiled at the SXSW festival last year to a plethora of critical acclaim while promoting their Without Feathers EP. About a year and a half since their first effort they have returned with their first full length, Gone for Good.
The album straddles the indie and Americana genres, taking influence from the likes of Wilco and hints of earlier American folk that’s been fused with modern, technological influences; the track Poison the Truth being the most obvious example of this. Gone for Good is an especially mature release for a debut album. The production is crisp and the songwriting is solid. ‘Shake the Devil’ is a country-blues romp with a hint of their other bands in the sound and ‘Proposition’, the song following, is an excellent ballad showing a quite accomplished band musically.
Despite this, there’s still room to question just how well such a band might do. Although Gone for Good is 12 enjoyable, well written songs, it could be still asked if they’ve really done enough to stand out from their counterparts and if, maybe, they should have taken more of a gamble rather then playing it safe. It’s not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, but it will not define a genre either. Perhaps it’s because acts like Sufjan Stevens have simply set the bar so high for those other acts still coming through.