Birth of Joy
(Long Beach Records/SPV)
Dutch psychedelic rockers Birth of Joy sure do know how to distill sonic happiness throughout Get Well. The band’s style of psych rock is slightly more energetic and lively than your standard drug-soaked affair. Imagine Queens of the Stone Age at peak psych, mixed with 70s prog and 90s grunge. It’s an interesting idea in theory, and Birth of Joy try to do a decent job of translating the idea into an interesting sound. Those who dig psych rock that occasionally takes the time to rock should certainly find something to enjoy.
The problem is that Birth of Joy, for all the fun they’re having, don’t translate this potential into great songs. Even the best ones, “Blisters”, “Those Who Are Awake”, and “Carabiner” are the liveliest of the bunch, and they still feel like they could use a little something extra. The former song drops everything for what seems like a smoke break. The issue isn’t that everything is bad; Birth of Joy are certainly fine musicians, but they haven’t figured out how to translate that into interesting songs. Most of the songs feel lacking in something, whether it be direction or energy. In the case of “Those Who Are Awake”, a fine song by itself, just ends too soon after building up some nice momentum.
It’s all a shame because, especially in the second half of the album, the band seems to figure some of it out, but it’s not enough to save this otherwise average psych rock release. (Nicholas Senior)