JOLLY - The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part I)

Jolly - The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part I)

12 songs
46:12 minutes
***** ****


New York prog rockers Jolly debuted in 2009 with their longplayer Forty Six Minutes Twelve Seconds which was also the CD’s length. Two years later they are back with the successor The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part I) which coincidentally has exactly the same running time.

Jolly work with so-called binaural sounds that are mixed secretly into the music to stimulate the brain into generating feelings of happiness. This supposedly works only if you listen to the music with headphones. I decided not to and still had a great time listening to their new album.

Combining Nineties prog with alternative rock, Jolly sound very uncomplicated and easygoing. The dominant bass guitar made me think instantly of King’s X, but Jolly come across darker and more progressive. On Joy they even sound very catchy and more accessible, with the keyboard reminding of Eighties synthie pop. Yet the band’s undeniable strength lies in timeless solid rock that never sounds the same by constantly discreetly changing directions. The later Fates Warning, Damn The Machine and even sometimes Devin Townsend seem to have inspired the band. The Pattern which I knew already from a label compilation is definitely the CD’s highlight. Next to your usual virtuoso instrumentation, you also get some spacy effects reminding of E.L.O. Jolly are absolutely able to convince with high class songs that always sport suspenseful arrangements and always put playful, dramatic, straight rocking or dark elements next to their more complex parts.

Jolly must be one of the most creative bands on Earth and offer more in three quarters of an hour than many bands throughout their entire career. The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part I) can be likened to a bonfire where you also never know in the beginning what will happen next. I am certainly not the only one looking forward to the sequel of this excellent album.

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