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(46:12, Progrock & Galileo Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Escape from DS-3 6:07 2. Renfaire 5:32 3. Peril 4:48 4. Red Sky Locomotive 4:47 5. We Had an Agreement 0:58 6. Downstream 5:48 7. Carousel of Whale 4:50 8. Solstice 4:08 9. Inside the Womb 9:14 LINEUP: Anadale Ц guitars; vocals Anthony Rondione Ц bass; vocals Joe Reilly Ц keyboards; sampling Louis Abramson Ц drums
Prolusion. JOLLY is a US outfit based in New York City. It describe itself as a band that would like to create music that intrigues avid listeners without compromising accessibility, and after the release of a three track demo in the autumn of 2008 Progrock Records and Galileo Records were intrigued enough by what they heard to sign the band for the US and Europe respectively. Their debut full length recording УForty-Six Minutes Twelve Seconds of MusicФ was subsequently issued in the spring of 2009.
Analysis. When a band cites as different sounding artists as Depeche Mode, Mike Patton, Radiohead and Tool as some of their many influences, you would expect them to be quite widespread in their overall sound and certainly rather experimental too. Jolly isn't quite there yet though, and I get the impression that on this first effort they concentrate more on finding a solid stylistic foundation. What they have ended up with is a curious blend of slightly quirky alternative/indie metal and mellow, ambient-like passages Ц the former slow and heavy, the latter lighter and floating. The guitars obviously dominate the heavier sounding passages, with slow and almost leaden riff patterns and with the occasional drawn out riff. I'll give them credit for not sounding very much like Black Sabbath nor like stoner metal in these parts: with the exception of Carousel of the Whale the overall sound is distinctly more indie-flavored in these sequences. Keys flesh out and enrich the soundscapes in these parts, sometimes subdued to the point of providing minute details only and on other occasions contributing to the creation of moods with a distinct dramatic flair to them. The keyboards obviously dominate the mellower passages, with gentle and almost ethereal layers of floating sounds. Although this blend of contrasts in mood and expression does become a tad predicable, the band provides the potpourri of distinct sounds to good effect to create distinct atmospheres throughout. With some samples and electronic sounds added in to create specific effects or just to add variation Jolly manages to keep the album interesting for the most part. On the two last tracks of the album they do deviate quite a bit from the template used in the other tunes. The first of these, Solstice, is a lighter venture that for some reason reminds me of mid С80s Hawkwind. A strong and intriguing atmosphere makes this effort the highlight of the album for me. The following track, Inside the Womb, is quite the opposite though. The first part of the song is pretty good, a gentle effort with acoustic guitars and piano as central instruments. But the four minutes that follows, with sampled sounds of the seashore first and a scratchy vinyl record next overstay their welcome and then some.
Conclusion. Jolly is a talented outfit, and while its members may want to broaden their scope somewhat, they manage to create both good and interesting material as is. And while their debut effort may not be considered as a superior creation it is a good debut effort, and if you enjoy art rock with distinct flavoring from indie and alternative metal incorporated chances are good that you'll enjoy this effort.
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