Gojira. Let the name roll off your tongue. What does it mean to you, to us as a community? Maybe you picture a kaiju and smile in self contentment at your knowledge of cinema trivia. Perhaps though, like most of us, the name is synonymous with countless, important streams within metal today. Modern metal, groove metal, pick sweeping, impossibly thick bass, environmentalism and so many more themes currently in operation within the metal community owe their widespread popularity (if not their very genesis) to Gojira.
Welcome to yet another Jazz Club, where we get to take a break from the admittedly wonderful world of metal in exchange for some horns and sax and plenty of Miles Davis. Honestly, we tossed around topic ideas for today, but nothing really seemed to stick, so we’re going to have a much more conversational installment centering around various questions we’ve been mulling over lately. Sorry ahead of time, unless this turns out great, which in that case, you’re welcome.
We’re in the final stretch! In our previous installment, our protagonist went on a huge existentialist bender, The Lover was fed up with his shit, The Pimp/Priest re-entered the story in the most garishly devious way, and The Boy decided that entering politics would be the best course of action to take down his nemesis once and for all. This final third of Act IV moves quickly and sort of papers over a lot of potential story details, presenting us with more in the way of broad strokes plot summary than introspection and character development (though there is still some of that). To be perfectly honest, though certainly fun and plenty enjoyable, I found this section to be the weakest part of the album overall because of that sense of hurtling quickly towards the album’s conclusion, which presents a cliffhanger conflict that will likely come to define most of Act V. That said, there is still more than enough going on here to unpack, so let’s drive straight into the belly of the beast together!
With the recent release of the new Issues album Headspace, I think now is as good a time as any to contend with something that’s sat with me for years. In 2014, our beloved creator Jimmy posted a review for their self-titled debut. I encourage you to read his full thoughts on the album, but if you want the long story short, he wasn’t a fan of it due to bad production choices, banal lyrics and lack of strong songwriting. He gave it a 1.5/5, even going so far as to accuse the record of being “cringe-inducing.” Jimmy’s review has haunted me on and off ever since he posted it, as the record was my 2014 album of the year, so I think it’s time that I got into Issues’ corner to defend its honor by addressing some of Jimmy’s gripes while throwing in my own points of positivity.