Jolly are an American progressive rock band from New York. Since their Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds Of Music album (2009) they use binaural tones in order to stimulate certain parts of the human brain in the search of the ultimate form of happiness. This sounds rather far fetched to me, but this is the cornerstone of Jolly’s latest album, entitled The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part One). Let’s take a closer look at this rather peculiar band.
This album doesn’t bring me closer to my inner emotional core, but it’s certainly a thoroughly enjoyable affair. Jolly aren’t afraid to use influences from the whole progressive music spectrum, ranging from Tool to Meshuggah and from Pain Of Salvation to Porcupine Tree with a little love for Pink Floyd styled ambient and psychedelic effects in between. All this with a distinct Jolly touch of their own.
Another great aspect of The Audio Guide To Happiness is the presence of varied and sophisticated song material. This goes from heavy compositions (End Where It Starts, The Pattern, Where Everything’s Perfect) to more mellow, almost ambient based tracks (Storytime, Still A Dream, Dorothy’s Lament). There’s even a blues and honky-tonk flourished song, in the form of Pretty Darlin’. All these different influences work like a charm within the the context of this album.
Sound wise The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part One) is quite a chapter on its own. This is where the binaural tones seem to have a special effect on some parts of the human brain. I don’t know about that, but its production certainly adds to the psychedelic nature of this album.
After Amplifier’s The Octopus I’ve found a new candidate for this year’s progressive album list. The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part One) is progressive rock at its finest, clear and simple.
Written by Raymond Westland