Watch now: Great Value Jesus releases a new album: “Is Propaganda Art? » | Go!

BLOOMINGTON – When the lead singer of punk rock band Tiger Sex invited two members of the public on stage for a dance at the end of their Friday Punkfest set at the nightshop, it was two-thirds of Twin Cities indie band Great Value Jesus who turned up. shown at height.

Drummer Nick Saathoff and bassist Doug Cook reveled in the abstinent, twice-shaken twists on the outdoor stage that night, the latter just doing what he does best to maintain an energetic bassline.

“I keep my hips moving, you know?” said Cook in an interview with The Pantagraph. “I can’t be shy as a bassist.”

Watch Now: Bloomington-Normal Musicians Create New Sound With ‘Great Value Jesus’

The three-member indie rock band from Bloomington opened the 45-act Punkfest last weekend. On the same day, they also released their first full album, “Is Propaganda Art?”.

Doug Cook, left, and Nick Saathoff, middle, dance after being invited onstage by punk rock artists Tiger Sex during a Punkfest concert, Friday, June 10, at the nightshop in Bloomington.

Brendan Denison

While they may not be trademark “saviors,” the trio have developed some authentic and rich heavenly compositions since forming months before a global pandemic. Guitarist Noah Renken-Kapatos’ grungy, distorted blues riffs will take you back to the Northwest music scene that made Nirvana famous. In fact, Great Value guitarist Jesus once called Portland home in this area.

Since releasing a seven-track EP titled “Disassociation Nation,” Great Value Jesus has continued their conversation about dealing with mental health issues, while focusing on more harmonious sounds and lyrical themes of disillusionment.

Watch Now: Bloomington’s ‘Great Value Jesus’ Drops New EP


From left, Doug Cook, Nick Saathoff and Noah Renken-Kapatos perform as indie rock band Great Value Jesus on Friday, June 10 at Bloomington Nightshop.

Brendan Denison

Although not specifically intended as a concept album, Renken-Kapatos said that each track on “Is Propaganda Art?” presents a societal problem from a different angle.

The guitarist previously told The Pantagraph that Great Value Jesus was a nickname he earned for his long-haired, bearded style. As for the name of the new album, he said it came from receiving eight daily spam emails from Donald Trump organizations.

Realizing that the former US president “really knew how to use propaganda,” Renken-Kapatos then wondered if art could convey both emotion and purpose.

The new album kicks off with an upbeat song called “Blush,” which Renken-Kapatas says is about a Hallmark romance that turns into a psychedelic breakdown.


Noah Renken-Kapatos performs guitar with Great Value Jesus at Punkfest on Friday, June 10 at Bloomington nightshop.

Brendan Denison

The lyrics of the track illustrate the plastic love of a relationship that fails and melts into an unrecognizable and heartbreaking drop of a burnt Barbie doll.

It’s a smooth journey through the first half of the album, driven by haunting psychedelic blues songs like “Electric Coyote Man” and a cover of the James Bond movie theme. In “Mindless Complexities”, Cook mixes layers of cello strumming. It’s an instrument that won him a scholarship to Illinois Wesleyan University, he noted.

The album then takes on an abrupt change of mood, heading to “Dear God” with prophetic cries to a higher power.

Cook’s favorite song on the album is “Breakdown 43”. He said it was because it reminded him of Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. Saathoff said he and Cook took the “Good Times Bad Times” groove “and just went to town on it”.


The album cover for Great Value Jesus’ new album “Is Propaganda Art?” is illustrated. picture by Sam Warnertaken at Ewing Park in Bloomington.

Brendan Denison

Renken-Kapatos said the album’s themes culminate with the final two songs, “Breaking Lies” and “Gen Z the Great Society”.

The older track features more cello played by Cook and lyrics that Renken-Kapatos says fit the “inner monologue of the lies we tell ourselves, so we don’t listen to the toxic voice in your head.”

Watch Now: Pantagraph Reporter Rediscovers Love of Bagpipes Thanks to Eureka Band

He succinctly establishes this point early on with the line: “How we live our lives / Determines reality.”

The final song, Renken-Kapatos said, shows a clear picture of a world in disarray, stating, “it’s not a world we were told we would have.”

Reflecting on this thought, he sang good advice: “Don’t stray from the imagination / Be the apple that brought creation.”

Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison

Comments are closed.