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By Alex Jasperse - 12/30/2008 - 02:52 PM EST

Artist: Band: Jolly
Album: Jolly EP [2008]
Label: Independent
Genre: Progressive Rock
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8.5/10
Songwriting Skills: 8.5/10
Performance Skill: 8.5/10
CD Review:

As a creative patchwork of progressive, thought-provoking musicality, Jolly’s EP is drenched in seductive intricacies and variances, offering a musical experience bursting with bold and innovative flavours.

Unleashing savage and distorted guitar lines that quickly devour the opening vocals, “Carousel of Whale” forcefully sweeps up synth and drum lines, creating an immediate sonic unease. Mostly the product of the rhythm section of Louis Abramson and Mike Rudin’s angered, growling bass, just as it segues into what feels like a keyboard breakdown, it reverts to its original velocity, soon dissolving into carnivalesque laughs.

After such a blisteringly good start, “Downstream” is almost a whisper, lulling listeners into haunting synth and vocal atmospherics, counterbalancing the previous piece with a fragile beauty. Up and down, high and low, close you eyes, and you become swept up into the ebb and flow of each passage gently lapping against another. Come the three-minute mark, you can feel the group collectively taking a sonic deep-breath, gearing up for Roman Pirag’s solo to churn the melodic water into a storm of pounding sonic waves.

The high-adrenaline performance skills continue throughout the last piece, with “Solstice” merging the original, angular and angry sound of “Carousel of Whale” with a touch of piano lightness and sustained vocal passages. Even after four minutes of hearing Pirag’s melancholic singing, it never becomes an unbridled mess of aimless and wandering vocals. Instead layered, well-spaced and textured vocal lines collectively work together, complimenting each other – treading effortlessly between the fore and backgrounds.

Even with only three songs, it’s easy to seek refuge in the music Jolly has created, making their EP a haven for extended and repeated visits. Their deep sonic palette and stellar musicianship is deservingly noteworthy, making them an act to keep an ear out for their full-length release.

The Verdict:

For more information, please visit Jolly’s official website.

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