London Ontario’s The Joys have been around for a few years and they just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. Having recently been certified Gold here in Canada for their recent 3 song single proves that they are a force not to be reckoned with. This new album UNFOLD contains 10 stellar songs delivered to us in a way that can only be done by this group of 4 talented musicians. Upon first listen to the album I was hooked. Sarah’s voice is just amazing. She has a bit of Joplin in it, some Melissa Etheridge but she is her own and can belt it out with the best of them. Musically: Archie’s heavy drumming fits in perfectly, he’s a true rock and roll drummer and gets quite a groove going. Mike’s guitar and Ross’ bass and you have a 4 piece that sets the speakers a fire. From the beginning of the album you are captivated and under the spell of pure listening satisfaction.
We love the crunchy grind of the opening riffs as the disc start. There’s a raspy edge to her voice in “Soul on Your Sleeve.” “Storm” is a sample of listenable rock; harmonious and melodic without being ‘poppy’ or losing its rock attitude or its thrust. There are some technically sound, soaring guitar progressions, but it’s the vocals that soar on “Fly”. Tough, assuring lyrics urge us towards better days in “Keep Tryin’ to Try”- again, with excellent vocals guided firmly by a band sound that scaffolds the powerful merging of lyrics and music. “Don’t look back”- again, strength is what we hear, in guitar and vocals. “See the Light”- wishing they had more radio play just to prove that female lead vocalists can carry prominent air time. “Come Alive” has a funky rhythm, choppy licks, a solid chorus to raise the arms triumphantly at a concert, which we sincerely hope to see “I’ll be here”- gentle opening, releasing into a complex set of emotions, promises and pleadings. “Shady” with the touch of organ and gospel backup adds some vintage groove – a new flavour on this collection. “Unfold”; the title track…lyrics like a feather- light touch, and gentle drum tapping punctuated by one hell of a vocal leap to an alarmingly high note. Alerts listeners to the ethereal nature of the song, wishing to unfold, release and rise as the lyrics suggest. A great tune to raise a lighter to even in the midst of rain.
A fresh and welcoming album that is easy on the ears. It has that familiarity about it but maintains it’s originality. One of the albums to own this year.