I’ve been trying to get myself to listen to new music as it comes out, usually picking off one or two random tracks from an album as I add it to my library. Never hearing Birth of Joy before, I selected “Choose Sides” from their new album Get Well and from there gave the whole album a thorough listen. Gertjan Gutman cleary has fun whaling on the organ as well has keeping the bass lines flowing, Kevin Stunnenberg has a good range with his vocals and makes good use of his guitar, while Bob Hogenelst holds down the kit. The songs are very well constructed and though they stand out individually, come together to form a solid groove-filled organ infused psych-rock album.
“…a solid groove-filled organ infused psych-rock album.”
The opening track, “Blisters,” reminded me a bit of the music heard in 90’s fighting video games. “Meet Me at the Bottom,” one of the better songs on the album, bounces between a slow blusey diddy to a rip-rocking jam. By far the standout track on the album, “Choosing Sides” will get stuck in your head with it’s fun melody and groovy organ. “Numb” is is quite a haunting groove jam, with a killer guitar solo. The sleazy fifth track “Midnight Cruise” puts you in a filthy strip club clouded with cigarette smoke as degenerates play billiards. “Carabiner” did not have the same affect as some of the other songs, not bad by any means, but nothing really gripped me. “Those Who Are Awake” is thick and groovy. The 90’s fighting game theme comes back with “You Got Me Howling,” boss scene this time around. The albums’s title track clocks in at just over eight minutes long and is definitely the most psychedelic song on the album. Sit in a tall-grass field and star at the sky as it changes color and shape like a kaleidoscope. “Hands Down” closes the album with a ruckus, the song rocks hard.
Get Well definitely made me a fan of this Dutch psych-rock outfit. I don’t think anyone rocks the organ better than Gutman, at least in my book. Long Branch Records got behind this album which dropped on February 26th.
By: Matt Darcy
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