JUD - Sufferboy

The first thing that strikes me when I see a picture of the members of Jud is that they look like a trio of sex pests, freshly absconded from an all-too-open prison and looking for some fresh meat. I have to double check that all doors and windows are securely fastened before putting the needle on this particular record. They are, so I do.

Jud were formed in 1995 by Virginia-born David Judson Clemmons, who had previously featured in acts with Machine Head's Dave McClain and Megadeth's Chris Poland. The current line-up, completed by James Schmidt and Jan Hampicke, are now based in Germany and recruited John Caffery (Joy Division) to handle production duties on this, their fifth release.

'Sufferboy' - which is, incidentally, wrapped in some stunning cover art - is, like all great albums by cool bands, really difficult to pigeonhole. There is a grungy punk ethos to this record with isolated incidents of dirty metal clawing their way through the grime. A definite dusting of melody threatens to envelope the project at any given time. I have seen Jud described as a middle ground between Motorhead and Foo Fighters and, while that capsule review could be declared appropriate, I hear so much more. For example, there is the angst of an all-cylinders-firing Warrior Soul, but also the melodic alternative rock of early Feeder. There is a flow to the record that may be considered surprising given the scope of the more obvious influences. There is a dark, brooding undercurrent to the album that ties it all together. Opener 'Bright White Light', 'Accelerate' and the pulsing 'Satisfy' are real highlights.

There is something viral about 'Sufferboy'. I can't quite put my finger on it. It makes the listener feel both empowered and uneasy at the same time. It is interesting enough to suggest that you should check it out and impressive enough to see Jud make the step up to the 'most wanted' list. Recommended.

by Gaz E.

Visit the JUD Website