We’re glad to announce that Bloomington-Normal, United States-based rock band Great Value Jesus have released a new EP, entitled Disassociation Nation.
Hailing from a multi-college twin-city in the crossroads of the Midwest US, Great Value Jesus (GVJ) is a genre-bending group that ranges in musical styles from alternative, punk, indie, folk, blues, grunge, pop-rock, psych-rock, and even lofi hip-hop. GVJ creates a unique sound that is sure to reel in listeners with hooks, lyrics, and melodies that blend intense instrumentals together into memorable sonic soundscapes. The brainchild of 23 year old singer-songwriter Noah Renken-Kapatos, Great Value Jesus was formed in 2019 as an outlet for Renken-Kapatos to release music that he wanted to hear.
GVJ’s first release came out on July 15, 2019, debuting with the eye-catching-name indie folk-punk record Bong Rips for Jesus: a collection of 9 acoustic-based love songs that mix aspects of psych-rock, jazz, punk, folk, and indie rock, establishing GVJ’s versatility and range in musical styles. October 30th, 2020 saw the release of 6am, a 20-minute collection of lofi hip-hop beats. The record started as an inside meme between Renken-Kapatos and friends, but exceeded expectations and started to generate a small online following. Great Value Jesus’ next release was on August 27th, 2021: their Radio Indigo EP, which is best described as psychedelic-grunge-rock, and consists of 6 tracks mixing hard-hitting punk, psych, and alternative rock.
In the fall of 2021, fellow native Bloomington-Normal musicians Nick Saathoff (drums) and Doug Cook (bass guitar) joined Renken-Kapatos (singer/songwriter/guitar) to form a live rendition of GVJ. Up until this point, Great Value Jesus was a solo project, with Renken-Kapatos writing all of the music and playing all the instruments on Bong Rips for Jesus, as well as working with close friends Adam Hintz (for drums on Radio Indigo and Disassociation Nation) and Matt Hawkins as a producer for Bong Rips for Jesus. When live music started to come back in late 2021, GVJ played notable shows at the Nightshop (Bloomington, IL) and Peoria Pizza Works (Peoria, IL), as well as having been featured on WEFT’s live radio performance show and in the newspaper, The Pantagraph.
GVJ’s most recent release, the Disassociation Nation EP, was released digitally on all streaming platforms on January 28th, 2022, and is written to be experienced together to get the full picture and overarching narrative. Through 7 tracks at roughly 23 minutes long, Disassociation Nation weaves together a journey that one goes through when experiencing the highs and lows of mental illness and a story of growth.
The journey of Disassociation Nation begins with “Something in the Way,” which features emotive vocals, introspective lyrics, and reverbed- as well as distorted guitars. As the trigger for what is to follow, “Something in the Way” leads naturally into “Dissociate,” which describes slipping in and out of reality through the metaphor of driving away from all the world’s issues. Next is “Static,” with its lo-fi synth melodies and an impressive clean-toned electric guitar solo midway through. The track’s lyrics poetically express what it feels like to be so overwhelmed and overstimulated that everything turns to static; while the following track, “Stan,” is a metaphor for being obsessed with the thought of death—the experience of living with depression, and stating it’s a miracle that you’re still able to walk the earth even through deep mental anguish.
“Refresh” is a palette cleanser and turning moment on the EP, representing a change in perspective for the story through its upbeat, dreamlike electric guitar melodies, groovy bass, and brisk shuffling percussion. “Picking Up Roses” then illustrates the cross-country move that songwriter Noah Renken-Kapatos made to Portland, Oregon in order to pursue his dreams—the dreams that keep the listener alive through all the pain, and keeping those you love in your heart on this journey; while the final track on the record is “The World is Not Changing for Free.” This is the culmination of the journey of immense mental and physical change. The lyrics for the final track are the most straightforward on the record: inspiring the will to fight hard for the child you once were, to keep the dreams of your childhood alive for you and those you love—and to end up better, even in the bad.
As Great Value Jesus’s unique blend of musical styles (such as indie-, alternative-, and psychedelic rock) evolves throughout Disassociation Nation along with the record’s evocative lyrics, where you begin in the EP is not where you end emotionally; indeed, Disassociation Nation succeeds brilliantly in taking listeners on a compelling and engaging journey.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify. If you enjoy their music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you can subscribe to this blog Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists that we have presented here!!!
This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator