The sound is indeed one of holy joy, well joy anyway (never really got holy). The sound The Band of Holy Joy make is as fine as a well made cup of proper tea, as inviting as a piece of hot buttered toast in the middle of the ruins and the broken bits (and the girls in well fitting desert boots). The Band of Holy Joy are not hard men or tough men, they’re a band who go slightly against the grain, they’re a classic English indie band from back there when, despite all, the future still held hope, that time and place of The Smiths, of The Wedding Present, of days of forward thinking, of love (and blissful ignorance), of days when it was about a little more than just survival.
The sound of Holy joy is a glorious one and this new album, their nineteenth, is sounding as fine as anything the long-standing band have made. This sounds just right, or is it just that their time is actually now? Have the Band of Holy Joy found their ground in this sordid vicious world? Found themselves in the ruins of gentrification, or displacement? An almost hopeful sound, a sound almost at odds with the violent gritty allure? Not really beginning, is there an end? Woken up in accident and emergency ward with all eyes working? Heart hollowed out, hope is on the way. This is a dignified album, a gloriously good album, we can see what they’re made of now – where you’re from is what matters around these parts, that and just maybe where you’re going? That North Eastern familiarity of Johny Brown’s voice – a sound called home, a familiar set of sounds in a city surrounded by millions of strangers. There’s something uplifting, something reassuring, something just right about the Sound of Holy Joy, about The Band of Holy Joy – a band to invest in, to age with, a graceful band, songs of character, songs of characters. I’m Crass Harry – he never liked the Cockney Rejects by the way, more the Subway Sect – they feel alright, this feels alright, I feel alright, gracefully disgracefully growing old and nowhere near ready to be moved out and shipped off to sheltered housing yet, a band more relevant now than ever. A sensitive band, tougher than you, isn’t that just the life? Fractured words from various places, gone today, still here tomorrow, tougher than you, sensitive band, isn’t that just the life?
“Johny’s visions lay deeply rooted in the modern-day London and all it didn’t have to offer”.
This is the ever shifting band’s nineteenth album, they’ve been around in various forms since 1984, this new album is as fine as anything the band have done, an album that flows, a gem or two waiting to be unearthed, a strong body of work. The sound of last century indie more relevant then ever, a band as fine as ever, the sound of a displaced capital city, a sound almost reassuring here as we wait for the knock to tell us out time is up and this place is no longer for the likes if us. I like the sound of Holy Joy, I like it rather a lot, I like the land of holy joy, I rather like The Land of Holy Joy, a rather recommended album, the proper sound of proper indie, more relevant than ever (SW)
The Land of Holy Joy is the new album from The Band of Holy Joy, it comes out on Stereogram Recordings on September 21st as both a CD and a download album.