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Jolly Joker - Loud & Proud Award winner

Jolly Joker
Loud & Proud
by Leanne "Metal Maiden" Evans at 16 February 2022, 3:00 AM

As the band name would suggest, JOLLY JOKER are a fun-loving, glam-laced, hard rock collective, hailing from Spain. The vivacious Valencian quartet founded the band in 2012, with their time on the rock circuit enabling them to support the likes of THE QUIREBOYS, L.A. GUNS and H.E.A.T, the jokers also played the stage at the renowned Spanish festival, Leyendas del Rock. With a few records already under their belts, JOLLY JOKER now wish to entertain us with their fourth release, the feistily titled, “Loud & Proud”. Packed with ten hard rockin’ and full-frontal, fun-filled tracks, you’re in for one very frisky full-length!

Straightaway, these guys bring their rambunctiously gritty tones to the table in opener, “I Don’t Care”, with nothing to prove and no shits to give. Laced with crisp guitars, fistfuls of swagger and high-energy, JOLLY JOKER get you ready for a feel-good time. Their catchy choruses, intoxicating hooks and infectious riffs grab you by the short and curlies from the get-go, with the fun-loving 80’s infused “Sky is so High” soaring with powerful vocal range, catchy solos and chunky bass work. It’s a belting start to an album, and you can see how they’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the Glam big guns. Speaking of “Glam”, “Blood Velvet” pulls a GUNS N ROSES meet BON JOVI formula to its structure, with a semi-“Sweet Child of Mine” riff to pack a punch, building to a roaringly boisterous cut with another hooky chorus to get your teeth into and yet another tasty guitar solo to melt your lugs. JOLLY JOKER are meaty, robust and muscular as hell… just how we like it.

Moving into the mid-section of “Loud & Proud”, we’re greeted with some sordid ‘squealies’ in “The Chance”, a track that oozes sleaze and pure ‘cock rock’. Dirty guitars pour through some sullied pumping action from the drums, with particular attention to the extremely mucky bass line that underpins a cut that gets you hot under the collar and leaves a wet patch on your seat. Vocally, Lazy sounds to be at his most confident, completely immersed in something overtly smutty, and it really pays off in the sound. His execution in “Fortune Teller” is just as pleasing, with a slightly softer appeal to the tonality, but still just as easy listening. However, it’s “Motor” that lifts you once more with a dash of sultry blues riffs, akin to ACDC or ZZ Top, rolled into something less head-banging and more pelvis-grinding, JOLLY JOKER absolutely pulling it out of the bag with moaning guitar wails, and husky shouts. Pure charged filth.

The expectation for the last clutch of tracks on “Loud & Proud” to be as smutty as the previous listens is high; I can promise that you won’t be disappointed. “Voodoo Nights” pulls a POISON/HANOI ROCKS hybrid in a strident, mid-tempo cut that struts in full-blown, balls-deep lashings of Glam. Steeped in every ounce of Glam formula, from the heavy guitar sound shaped by the hard-rock riffs, through to the unabashedly catchy melodies and even the switch from solo singing to some collective group style chants towards the end; this is a piece dripping in sleazy sex-appeal and JOLLY JOKER owns it. The band carries on with this same unashamedly simplistic, but damn catchy, output in “Nothing’s Sacred”, opting then for a definitive hard-rock twist in “Devil’s Hand”, pulling a slightly faster version of something from THE QUIREBOYS catalogue, injecting that same vibe with a cracking bit of piano work in “New Orleans”.

So, there we have it; from start to finish, the fourth record from the one and only JOLLY JOKER. These spirited Spaniards really don’t disappoint in “Loud & Proud” and if, like me, you love nothing more than indulging in a hearty bit of sonic sunshine from time to time, these guys are guaranteed to deliver Vitamin D with the sexy hard rock “D”.

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. I Don’t Care
2. Sky is so High
3. Blood Velvet
4. The Chance
5. Fortune Teller
6. Motor
7. Voodoo Nights
8. Nothing’s Sacred
9. Devil’s Hand
10. New Orleans
Lazy Lane – Vocals
Yannick Bonora – Guitar
Andrea “Andy” Siegl – Bass
Dani – Drums
Record Label: Dark Rails Records


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