Jessica93 – Rise

jessicaGoth night.  Let’s all hide in the corners and stare at our sneakers whilst viewing the more courageous of dark dwellers engaging in the dance of Goth, faces painted, hair dyed in deep colors, chains around their necks, fishnets down to heels, let us watch.  Let us brood about all things that require pills, and Rise into a new way of life.  Teenage Menopause Records, run by Elzo Durt, aside from having one of the greatest label names in the world, has also been in our favor this past year, because everything we’ve reviewed by then, as well as sampled on the fly, has been fitting to their title.  It’s music for the end of your youth, the passing from fantasy into harsh reality when you realize why you should have spent less time sleeping and whining on the computer because it’s too late to go back.  Long ago, when the best computers we had came with black screens and green text, Goth was something else, but today, when a single man can sound like a symphony of sadness, things have changed and they’re better for it.  Jessica93 is one of the TMR’s most well-known acts, playing a form of modern Goth with melancholic, shoegaze guitars on the fragile end of things.   We were first contacted by one of the people behind the label a month or so ago, where we got a full, private look at Rise.  And in our private world of bleak introspection, we again descended into the essence of Goth.


Jessica93’s last one, Who Cares?, had us rolling around the floor in romantic angst.  Sometimes that’s how we live, we pretend there’s shattered love everywhere, in everything, we look at a ring bearer and flower girl and imagine them going through a tragic divorce years in the future after their child drowned in lake.  We look at the family dog and imagine our children placing a homemade headstone on its shallow grave, dug up the following day by nighttime vermin and washed away in a flood the next.  Honestly, this particular reviewer has listened to Who Cares? enough times that it’s accurate to respond with “this guy, right here.”  And what’s this, a furtherance of all that is this one-man DIY Goth gazer in another album?  Well, let us see.  Going in with such a fine hangover from the emotional impact of Jessica93 from the last time left us needing quite a bit more for the next high.  Addiction is painful, it always demands more out of the body, and its demands can only be satiated by something greater than before that brings you closer to ruin.


Can Rise do such a thing?  For this kind of music, it’s difficult, one pill needs to be two pills the next time, but in many cases the second capsule’s just plain empty, or you need a third that isn’t provided because you puked up the second.  Rise, thankfully, is full bottle of pills, when we only requested a pair.  Jesscia93 follows largely the same sort of format on his previous opus, but manages to keep things fresh.  The guitars are largely atmospheric, or when a clear riff develops they’re like frost on a windowpane; brittle, but still cold.  There’s also some more density to his work this time around with sludge lord bass slathering sound around like blood dripping off of a dangling, severed muscle.  The vocals, ah yes, brooding, crying-one’s-self-to-sleep inertia is behind them with a touch of hollow, dead-on-the-inside passion.  If anything, Jessica93’s work this time around almost makes us wish we gave his last one a 4/5, because this is clearly ahead of the game and deserved higher position.  There’s just a single issue with it, something only noticeable to someone familiar with his work, and it’s the final track on Rise, “Uranus”, which has a riff pattern very similar to “Poison” off of Who Cares?  A quick comparison reveals this fact, but once both songs are started they diverge and create their own meaning.  It’s a minor point, though, because yet again Jessica93’s left us wanting more and hating life.  We’ll be found later, on the floor, covered in pills we didn’t have the guts to down.


Jessica93 Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Jessica93 – Rise
Teenage Menopause Records
4.5 / 5