CD REVIEW Birth Of Joy

Band : Birth Of Joy
Album title : Life In Babalou
Label : Suburban Records
Distributor : Suburban
Release date : 02/03/2012
Release : CD

This Enschede based Dutch Psychedelic Garage Rock band was founded in 2005. During his introduction week at the Herman Brood Academie in Utrecht, lead singer/ guitarist Kevin Stunnenberg (later to also join The Tommycats) meets up with drummer/ backing singer Bob Hogenelst, their first school task being to make music together on a free basis. For a while there, a keyboard player joins the duo, but he turns out to be an annoying fellow, and is therefore asked to go bum other people. Then this curlie-head comes walking in...Gertjan Gutman does something with organs...and although the guitarist and drummer fear for the worst, they begin to play anyway. That same day, Birth Of Joy's first song becomes a fact!

In 2010 the band self-releases the 3-track EP Make Things Happen, and sells the 1000 copies they made in no time. The band then plays a record amount of shows on the Popronde, gets onto the festivals, and knows to impress the Suburban A & R people present at 2011's Zwarte Cross festival in such a degree, that a signed deal is their at the end of the day. In essence, the material for Life In Babalou was already written at that moment (possibly, it was even already recorded – that part is a little blurry in the info I found), but first Suburban re-issued the Make Things Happen EP (September 2011).

The info sheet we got along with the promo (download) copy of the album gives a very fair description of the band's music when they call it “Sixties on steroids” and liken it to the excitement of MC5 and seduction of the Doors...and really, that's all the description you need! However, if you're warned that the band deals in extremes where the lyrics are concerned, taking things from very positive to very negative without any shades in between. So, if you're kinda sensitive to a band's lyrics, you stand warned that there's a rather dark side to this trio. Of the 10 songs on the album (two of which already appeared on the 2010/2011 EP), there's 3 (plus the remaining title track of the EP) you can listen to at (www.) facebook.com/birthofjoy (also 4 videos posted there, by the way, which I have neglected to check), and 4 more songs off the album can be checked at (www.) myspace.com/birthofjoy.

Again, if the '60s-'70s Psychedelia scene is your thing, you mùst check out this band. Also check out theband's labelmates Shaking Godspeed, while you're at it! Being somewhat partial to this kind of music invented in an era when I was still very young, I cannot help but catapult Life In Babalou into my year-lists! And that's not just because of nostalgic reasons, but simply because the music is both dàrn well-written ànd performed!

98/100

Tony.