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Birth Of Joy - Prisoner

Birth Of Joy
by Dan Mailer at 07 July 2014, 2:46 PM

Amsterdam’s BIRTH OF JOY combines a sort of late 60s DEEP PURPLE, URIAH HEEP and IRON BUTERFLY with a modern edge that propels it forwards into today’s music scene. Their album “Prisoner” reinforces this with plenty of psychadelia blended with more up-to-date sound.

“The Sound” opens up, with a fairly long and winding structure of about 6 minutes, with a very dreamy sort of sound fuelled by old school sounding Organs, with a chunky sounding guitar. The drums are way more modern sounding than the rest of the sound the band has crafted but it works well enough, and the song picks up towards the end, with a “jam” feeling to the track overall. “How It Goes” picks up the pace a bit, and feels a bit more energetic and focussed, with a cool sounding vocal, and catchy sounding electric organ riffs.

The album overall is a nice slice of old school rock and roll, mixed with some more atmospheric stuff very much in the vein of 60s bands like THE DOORS and the like. “Three Day Road” really has this feeling and sound down well, with a nice blend of quieter and heavier moments working really well in its favour, with nice build-ups and sounds throughout. Grow follows this up with another of the more energetic tracks, and this one is quite heavy as far as this album goes, though quite good in attitude.

Another track worth a mention is “Longtime Boogie”, which feels like Jim Morrison singing over DEEP PURPLE favourite “Black Night”. It’s got a good groove to it, and plenty of cool organ sounds and solos too. Title track “Prisoner” is also pretty good, with some cool atmospheric chain noises befitting of the title, with more chaotic noises building up over the top more and more to a heavier sound overall. This is certainly one of the more interesting tracks, with its almost jarring sounds at times, despite being quite short.

The album closes up with “Clean Cut”’s stabbing organ sounds before opening up into a great drum beat and a nice powerful sounding lead guitar line. This song sounds nice and tense and closes the album quite nicely, with some cool big chords and some good riffs too.

The production is fine on the album, with quite modern sounding drums meeting with more old school sounds, and a vocal that would have fit in very well in the mid-90s british music scene at times, then at other times sounding more like classic 60s singers like the aforementioned Jim Morrison. It comes together to form an interesting sound.

Overall, the ideas the band presents are quite good, there is a good feeling of energy at times, but the songwriting suffers a little as it feels to me like the band have jammed together for most of the stuff, with a few focussed tracks that make it worth listening to. It certainly has potential, but at times lacks a little of the focus that would make this band awesome.

3 Star Rating

1. The Sound
2. How It Goes
3. Keep Your Eyes Shut
4. Three Day Road
5. Grow
6. Rock And Roll Show
7. Longtime Boogie
8. Mad Men
9. Holding On
10. Prisoner
11. Clean Cut
Kevin Stunnenberg – Vocals, Guitar
Bob Hogenelst – Drums, Backing Vocals
Gertjan Gutman – Organ, Bass
Record Label: Long Branch Records / SPV


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Edited 05 June 2023

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