Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Post, math and prog rock find a home in the hard-to-ignore music of O! The Joy.

Fans of Do Make Say Think, Hella and Amon Düül take note of the band's upcoming album Zen Mode due March 11th from French label Distile Records.

Sacramento’s rock scene has long been a source for amazing bands. O! The Joy is the next big thing to come from this city of indie rock angels. This atypical band, born from the ashes of Mister Metaphor (former project of Justin Goings, O! The Joy’s drummer), succeeds in creating a perfect harmony between a wide range of genres, from kraut-rock to emo. Zen Mode is their impetuous first album, the kind of record that you will keep in your CD player for years.

There’s something really catchy that grabs you when you first hear the abounding universe of O! The Joy. Their amazing tunes and musicality focus your attention on their talent. The melodies take over until the music rises and begins to lead you in some unexpected territories. You won’t have what you expected you’d get, but you’ll be rewarded a thousand times with what you are about to listen to. Their music takes some unpredictable paths when the songwriting explodes to reveal the amazing personality of the band.

O! The Joy represents a remarkable crossover of styles, which makes their sound hard to label. Perhaps calling them an “experimental pop band,” although simplistic, would do. Vocalist Kurt Travis’s singings are moving. He possesses a punchy and sensitive voice that plays a key role in the expanse of the music, just above the instrumentation. He is the gateway to the richness of the compositions. Guitarist Jason Ellis plays the most experimental role in the band, assisted by Justin Goings on methodic and polyrhythmic drums and cymbals. Both Goings and Ellis play constantly to create complex structures, putting adventurous ideas on the table in unexpected directions.

O! The Joy recorded Zen Mode at Tiny Telephone (San Francisco). The fine sound engineering by Aaron Prellwitz raises each band member’s musicianship to the highest level. The band brings to mind post-rock bands like Do Make Say Think, math rock outfits like Hella, or even prog rock, like Amon Düül. But O! The Joy are definitely too ingenious to get stuck on a genre. They bring indie rock further than it has ever been.

We compare this tricky record to Russian nesting dolls: when you’ve come to the end of an idea, there is always another one, hidden. Zen Mode is the musical outcome of musicians completely suitable to play together.

O! The Joy Live
03/13 Vacaville, CA @ Cheers

Zen Mode Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: 03.11.08

01. Conceivable Test Tube Baby
02. There Is No Such Thing As Organized Crime
03. This Fault Is Not Mine (MP3)
04. Under the Radar
05. 22435
06. The Man and The Secrets
07. We Write The Next Chapter (MP3)
08. I Just Didn’t Tell You
09. Guiding Role
10. Zen Mode (MP3)

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