To the subscribers who saw the album title and artwork first, believe me, they’re impactful for a reason — and suitably so.
From a band like Sick Joy — whose name is delightfully oxymoronic in the main — this record is bleakly, mysteriously dark in the most enigmatic and exciting way, with satyrical idiosyncrasies through the all-lowercase track names and insight-laden lyrics.
Only one of the songs breaches the four-minute mark, so the shorter, slicker punk-rock nature of these riff-fuelled, angsty tunes comes most noticeably through their succinct deliveries. The opener is the blissfully intoxicating ‘don’t feel like dying’, which is as affirming as you’d hope from a piece that kicks off proceedings. The uptempo ballad sets the tone for the rest of the album, too.
You’ve got joyful whimsy boxed off in ‘rich hippies’, plus one for the fans of Peaky Blinders soundtracks is the bassy ‘alive on the inside’. While ‘sadisfaction’ is an obvious belter, the fiery, upbeat drumming style of ‘stay numb’ positions the three-piece as instantly captivating as of-the-times outfits such as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Kid Kapichi.
But you’d better believe that the real greatness is still to be unearthed in this review. The aforementioned songs are utter rippers, for sure, but there’s something completely compelling about ‘talking to the drugs’, which I can’t stop listening to. I’m almost as hooked on that as ‘the blood & the bliss’. The latter is instrumentally so unique that I’ve been spellbound by it for hours on end now, but it’s possibly more so the hard-hitting themes traversed lyrically that have really sealed the deal. They’re intrusively introspective, targeted and slick in their approach, leaving no taboo language unused.
In fact, that sums up all 12 of Sick Joy’s punchy anthems here. All in all, you can bank on a hell of a tasty treat.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘the blood & the bliss’