The review says that O! The Joy have been compared to The Mars Volta, Portugal The Man or The Fall Of Troy. I agree absolutely. Like these three bands they are undoubtedly good but I don’t really like them. Plus they all share their weak spot for rather stupid band names…
O! The Joy play their own brand of progressive, fiddling guitar rock that I might label as post hardcore if I knew that the members got a hc/punk background. Their songs are meandering and live of Jason Ellis’ strong lead guitar work. It’s all well done but for my taste it is all too polished and pop. If I want to listen to psychedelic, far out guitar rock I’d prefer bands like The Black Angels, Akron/Family or Yeasayer. Or I’d go for the originals like The 13th Floor Elevators, Faust or Ash Ra Tempel.
However this record got potential. Take a song like “under the radar” (track four) for example. The hookline in vocals is totally catchy and the song is simply a good pop song. But over the whole length the record shows the same weak points as the aforementioned The Mars Volta’s records do. They focus on musical brilliance and try to put as much wow! into their songs as they possibly can but they don’t transport any urgency. They fail to transmit the energy they put into their songs on to their listeners. They sound like good musicians, not like maniac freaks. Good musicians are always a little boring…