Cosmo Jarvis – Sure As Hell Not Jesus EP

Sitting in our iTunes for well over a month, gradually accumulating in excess of 30 plays each, are the songs that combine to form Cosmo Jarvis’ outstanding ‘Sure As Hell Not Jesus’ EP. The tracks on this don’t so much show Cosmo Jarvis as a brilliant up-and-comer, but rather as someone who’s there already. Such is the polish, diversity and quirkiness of this EP that to predict anything other than a successful career for him would be an injustice.

The EP opens with the eponymous title track, which itself opens with a quaint acoustic verses from which bursts the rock ‘n’ roll riffs and crescendoes of the chorus. The track, bounds between innocence and excitement, only to reach in it’s final phase an electric guitar solo that is as endearing as it is surprising. ‘What’s wrong with Betty’ then starts in an equally confusing and diverse way. An epic maelstrom of guitar thrashing that could only seem welcome on a classic rock track  is immediately exchanged for the light hearted rock n roll delights of clean guitar riffs and gravelled voices. Testament to Cosmo’s talents, the juxtaposition of the crescendoed start  to the ska like keyboard that features in the latter stages of the track seem appropriate and natural, opposed to as stitched together and awkward as you’d imagine.

‘Road Closed’ is a more sombre affair and consolidates on the range of genres laid out before it. Where it doesn’t focus on instrumental eccentricities, the layered guitar and bluesy twangs provide an atmospheric backdrop for introspective curiosities of Cosmo’s lyricism. Shaking you free of the thought provocation is the ska-like bouncing narrative of the EPs closing ‘Why Do Angels Make Me Cry’. The waves of energy from the first two tracks are neatly exchanged for anthemic chorus’, rich bass lines and pipe sections sounding like their fresh out of a Jim Noir album. The EP doesn’t fall short vocally either, Cosmo’s abundance of charisma pulling and holding the idiosyncratic compositions together.

As you travel through the EP, the diversity on offer becomes astounding. The tracks individually dip into the various flavours and genres of Cosmo’s musical heritage, a 16 minute long pick n mix of genres and influences. The diversity packed into such a small running time though convinces you that you’ve just listened to something far more substantial than the 4 songs really on offer.

It is not it seems, that he is trying to adhere to a formula, nor that he is deliberately not doing so. The EP feels like a declaration that there is more to him than a traditional songwriter, and that his musical appetite cannot be appeased by what such a genre has to offer. There’s no doubt we can be expecting a whole lot more from Cosmo Jarvis. He’s only just warming up.

Sure As Hell Not Jesus  –  Cosmo Jarvis