Picture of Iroha


Iroha - Iroha ©2011 Denovali Records
1. Last Day of Summer
2. Autum Leaves
3. Watercolours
4. Reminisce
5. Dreams
6. Drifted
7. Eternal
8. Iroha
9. Last Day of Summer (JKB Mix)
10. Autumn Leaves (JKB Mix)
11. Watercolours (JKB Mix)
12. Reminisce (JKB Mix)
13. Dreams (JKB Mix)
14. Drifted (JKB Mix)
15. Eternal (JKB Mix)
16. Iroha (JKB Mix)
17. Last Day of Summer (Jesu Remix)
18. Iroha (Transitional Remix)
19. Last Day of Summer (Black Galaxy Remix)

When I first played this Iroha album, the facts about this band's background was still unknown to me. Within minutes of the first song, I thought, "Wow, these guys must really like Jesu!" So I shouted, "To the internets!" to discover not only do they like Jesu, one of the members of Iroha is also in Jesu and one of the other members has known Justin Broadrick since the dawn of time. So yes, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Iroha's debut sounds a bit like Jesu.

Iroha's roots are with Andy Swan, who at one point played in Final with Justin Broadrick in the early 80s, presumably around the time they were keenly interested in acne medicine as well as music. Swan spent a considerable amount of time in the dance scene in England, while we know Broadrick's extensive musical history already. (If you don't, shout "To the internets!" and find out for yourself.) Iroha brought in Jesu's bassist Diarmuid Dalton and apparently songwriting cues as well, since Iroha's music truly does sound like Jesu outtakes. For those who are already into Jesu, the easiest way to describe Iroha is Jesu with slightly more conventional songwriting and without the tendency to write a forty minute single song. Although there's some quite decent material here, the fact this music is so nearly identical with Jesu forces me to wonder if Iroha can develop their own character over time.

Iroha features a disc of originals and a bonus disc of remixes (mostly by a certain Justin Broadrick). The remixes actually aren't terribly different from the original mixes, so don't expect a completely warped sound there.

Ideally, Iroha should try to create their own niche. This self titled debut is still quite enjoyable and should appeal to any Jesu fan, making it a fairly easy thing to recommend. Time will only tell if Iroha will stand apart and/or release a slew of obscure 10" records in various limited quantities.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2011

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