Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Joy - "Ride Along" (Album Review)

By: Victor Van Ommen

 
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 29/04/2016
Label: Tee Pee Records
 
 
 
Joy is an honest to goodness, blown-out blues band. They’re like a ZZ Top tribute band sucked through a time warp vacuum and then played at warp speed.
 
“Ride Along” CD//DD//LP track listing:
 
1.) I’ve Been Down (Set Me Free)
2.) Misunderstood
3.) Evil Woman
4.) Going Down Slow
5.) Certified Blues (ZZ Top)
6.) Help Me
7.) Red, White and Blues
8.) Peyote Blues
9.) Ride Along!
10.) Gypsy Mother’s Son
 
The Review:
 
When I saw the announcement that Death Alley was going to tear through Europe in a van and they were going to share with a band named Joy, I was confused. I had heard of Joy, but I had never heard their tunes. My assumption was that Joy was just some SoCal band that made sunny psych music and some booker somewhere made a mistake pairing them with the Boogieland Bandits. Then, one day, Joy’s new album “Ride Along” got shoved through my mailbox. Attached to it was a note. It read, “these guys are on TeePee. You’ll like it.” With cautious hesitation, I pressed play.

Right out of the gate, all but one of my assumptions were torn to shreds. Joy is from SoCal, I was right about that, but they don’t take after sunny psych bands at all! Joy is an honest to goodness, blown-out blues band. They’re like a ZZ Top tribute band sucked through a time warp vacuum and then played at warp speed. And what do you know; the album’s centrepiece is a cover of “Certified Blues,” which Joy nail’s like Steven Tyler did his groupies.

The solos run wild and literally scream to be set free. Aside from this, Joy’s sound leans heavily on the fact that they constantly feel as if they’ll fishtail off the road, but always manage to regain control of the vehicle right before it happens. Indeed, whether it is their singer Zachary Oakely and his apparent mission from God to blow out his voice, or how the guitars flirt with the idea of diving headfirst into self-absorbed freak outs, or how the band is trying really, really hard to damage every speaker they get played through, drummer Thomas DiBenedetto underpins things, by pounding out a temperamental shuffle in an attempt to hold this whole shebang together.

So yeah, take Death Alley, mash it up with ZZ Top, and drop Joy like an atomic bomb in our modern age of upbeat, fuzzy blues rock and you’ve got an idea of what’s going on. No wonder Joy was coupled with Death Alley on that European tour, one that I’m now kicking myself in the ass for missing.
 
Ride Along” is available here
 
Band info: facebook

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