Sunday, 26 October 2008

Review - O! The Joy - Zen Mode

O! The Joy - Zen Mode

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8 out of 10

Technical music. It always draws up images of some fella’s playing all over the shop death metal with sub-jazz flourishes under the term "tech" metal or something. SF based group, O! The Joy would more than likely fall under the tech category if one did exist in record shops. But that is really selling them sort, and would be a crime if a lot of people missed out on this pretty clever and quality band.

Forget the whole tech-metal angle and imagine that sort of skill, but put towards writing, melody-led, driving alt-rock tunes. In fact forget the whole tech angle. This is just well crafted music played by talented players. Listening to it brings to mind a whole list of different names, references and genres, so much so that it took me a good 5 or 6 listens before the hooks got buried in my review hardened skin. It's only then do you appreciate this. On first listen I was put off it just by the sound and it's not something I usually go for, but I perceived and discovered a album of surprising depth and talent.

The vocals are completely sung, no shouting or screaming, just well sung, melodic lines over the constantly developing sound. Guitars tap away left right and centre and the drums bounce around all over the kit. If you took Rival Schools, mixed it with something like Sikth but avoided the horrible metal qualities of the latter and deep fried it in a mix of skill you may end up with something like O! The Joy. You might not, but then something like this is so varied it would be hard to copy.

A very quality listen from start to finish and defiantly something you will listen to over and over till it sticks.


1. Conceivable Test Tube Baby
2. There Is No Such Thing As Organized Crime
3. This Fault Is Not Mine
4. Under The Radar
5. 22435
6. The Man And The Secrets
7. We Write The Next Chapter
8. I Just Didn’t Tell You
9. Guiding Role
10. Zen Mode

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