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Birth of Joy: Prisoner

Dutch act Birth of Joy show their love of all things vintage, but with a modern twist on their latest release Prisoner. Kevin Stunnenberg (Vocals & Guitar), Bob Hogenelst (drums & backing vocals), and Gertjan Gutman (organ & bass) have cleverly meshed the style of classic acts like The Doors, Atomic Rooster, MC5, and Deep Purple with modern darlings The White Stripes and Wolfmother. Trippy synth and supercharged organ collide with fuzzed out guitars on tunes such as "The Sound" and "Keep Your Eyes Shut", while the hard rocking "Grow" is a blistering interpretation of the killer guitar/organ themes of '70s veterans Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Atomic Rooster, and Vanilla Fudge. "Rock & Roll Show" has a Doors meets Wolfmother feel, complete with plenty of '60s psychedelia, and "Mad Men" is pure psych-blues, a bouncy, fun tune. The title track sees the band trying too hard to mimic Jim Morrison & The Doors, but I'll forgive them for that as it's a cool tune nonetheless.

Overall Prisoner is a fun album, though I would have liked the tone on some of these songs to be a little more serious (like on the dark, heavy closer "Clean Cut"). Much of what you'll hear is happy & upbeat, bordering on overkill at times, but hey, the band obviously had a blast putting this thing together, and it shows, so I won't fault them too much for that. It's a solid collection of '60s/'70s psychedelic, bluesy hard rock with a modern flair, and I can certainly see lots of new listeners being turned on to Birth of Joy and becoming fans once they hear this.

Track Listing
1.The Sound
2.How It Goes
3.Keep Your Eyes Shut
4.Three Day Road
6.Rock & Roll Show
7.Longtime Boogie
8.Mad Men
9.Holding On
11.Clean Cut

Added: April 8th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1844
Language: english

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Birth of Joy: Prisoner
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-04-08 12:48:05
My Score:

Hmmmm. Do you ever feel like the grumpy git, stuck in the corner determined to have a terrible time, while all around dance, sing, clap and generally cavort madly in front of you? No? Just me then......

Birth Of Joy, the name should say it all. So why do I feel decidedly lacking in joy when this Dutch Psychedelic come 70s inspired Rock trio decide to hammer out their organ infused rifferama? Maybe it is the strange and (for me) unwelcome whiff of The Doors (oh, no thank yooooo). Possibly it is the clever, clever, oh aren't we clever manic-ness of "How It Goes", which simply makes me wish it didn't. Could it be the contrived rawness of The White Stripes? After all, how many over-rated acts can you hope to ape on one album? It all reminds of a less serious Gin Lady after they'd decided to only nod at their Black Bonzo does Uriah Heep infused past (why did Black Bonzo do that???).

Throw in a little early Pink Floyd ("Keep Your Eyes Shut"), even more - aren't we mad? - Doors (arrgghhh!) on the title track, or the bouncing, trouncing, flouncing The Monkees meets The Rolling Stones via Queens Of The Stone Age (really????) of "Rock & Roll Show" and there's that unmistakable feeling that your listening to a succession of "in-jokes" that make the tellers and their followers wet their trousers with mirth aplenty, while everyone else merely wonders who's going to mop up the puddle.

Or, of course, like Peter, in his more balanced review above, you could simply see me as being too po-faced, serious and boring to "get" all this malarkey. If you like the list of acts above, then possibly you will and you'll split your sides through a simple Birth Of Joy. Just don't expect me to be laughing along with you.

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