Joy Disaster – Sickness

I’m a little late with this one as it was released in February 2012 but is currently enjoying a renaissance in publicity thanks to those nice people at AFMusic.

“Sickness” is the latest Album by French dark Indie rockers Joy/disaster. Now I refer to them as Dark Indie rockers, but ask any ten people how to categorise Joy disaster and you will get at least 5 different answers. With their roots in a fusion of Rock and Post Punk the band have been categorised as everything from Goth the Death Rock, Indie to Post punk revivalist since their inception in 2005. don’t let genre pigeon-holing bother you too much though, Joy disaster straddle a few genres with some tracks leaning more heavily towards post-punk and other tracks showing a more “Type O negative” like influence, the overall effect being you really do need to take the band on their own merits and not worry too much about what pigeon hole they belong in.

Now that said, they are very much a band I can usually take or leave. Their performances are always tight and well honed without sounding too contrived or overproduced but on the whole a lot of their tracks just don’t quite grab hold of me the way some other artists do. This however, is very much a taste thing, and there are certainly other reviewers and DJs who find their work appeals greatly.

With that in mind “Sickness” was very much an album I expected to like, but not love. Well, as it turns out, I did like it – a lot. Although it still contains some songs that I’m largely ambivalent about the album leans far more towards the dark indie and post punk end of the spectrum and is a damn good example of the genre. With catchy percussion and guitar work married up with dark, angry bass and vocals that perfectly compliment them this album does hint at a wide range of influences from across the alternative rock, indie and post punk genres without ever becoming derivative or suffering too much for it the way some albums can do.

The guitar and bass work do occasionally dip into overused rock clichés but rarely for long, and just as my inner snob was beginning to groan, I’d be treated to something else to break it up and I’d forgive them for it.

All in all a very good album, I’m especially fond of opening track “Shinning Monday” which invokes memories of nights in darkened goth clubs in the 80s without being too formulaic, and “It makes me sick”. If the album has a week track for me it is “Between us” which is a little too commercial rock for my tastes I must admit, but some of you are going to love it I’m certain.

Some times a wide range of influences can make a bands work seem disjointed and lacking in focus, this is not the case with “Sikness”, it lends it a depth and breadth sadly lacking in a lot of releases.

Should appeal to fans of Type O negative, Former Ghosts, O Children and Pete Murphy and I would be surprised if this release does not win the band a few new fans as well as keeping old fans very happy.

Good 3/5