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JOLLY

Neo-Prog • United States


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Jolly biography
JOLLY is a US based band based in New York City, consisting of Anadale (guitars, vocals), Anthony Rondione (bass, vocals), Joe Reilly (keyboards, samples) and Louis Abramson (drums). Their musical influences are widespread, with as diverse acts as Depeche Mode, Mike Patton and Tool as examples. The band's stated vision is to create music that intrigues avid listeners without compromising accessibility.

In September 2008 their first effort was released, a demo EP named The Revolutionary Cult. A few month later they hooked up with Galileo Records and Progrock Records, who issued their debut album Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music in late July 2009.

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JOLLY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JOLLY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.68 | 28 ratings
Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music
2009
3.51 | 69 ratings
The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
2011
3.90 | 113 ratings
The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
2013

JOLLY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JOLLY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JOLLY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JOLLY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

JOLLY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 113 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ok, The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 was good? But Part 2 is just excellent!

Two years after the first part Jolly released this second volume which improves the formula, finally reaching the level of excellence that I always knew that this band had inside. The heavier sections are heavier, the mellower ones are finally at the same great level and the album is incredibly varied, catchy and full of memorable tracks.

Anadale sings better than ever, getting unknown tones in his voices like some good accomplished growls and the rest of the band shines also as always. I can't really say who sounds better in this album! All the four members of the band make a great job and the production is also very good, full of details and layers which make this album resistant to many many plays.

Best Tracks: in this album is very difficult to pick single tracks, really. All of them have an excellent level of quality! But if I had to choose, I would pick Firewell (powerful, heavy and prog), You Against the World (great mellow alternative tone with a great chorus), Dust Nation Bleak (oh my God, what a great track!), While We Slept in Burning Shades (this band is awesome!) and The Grand Utopia (the most progressive track of the album!)

Conclusion: The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 was a big improvement in comparison to Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music, but this Audio Guide to Happiness Part 2 is the definitive consolidation of Jolly as one of the most innovating, interesting and varied of this decade. I expected this album to be good, but not to this level!

So, if you haven't heard this album yet and you are interested in the most alternative side of prog, please hear The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 and then this even better Part 2. You will be surprised, for sure!

My rating: ****

 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.51 | 69 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After a very improvable debut album, Jolly came back with a much better second effort!

This Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1, despite having a similar style to their debut album mixing alternative rock with tons of prog elements, jazz, cabaret and metal, is much better written and coherent. Here the message of this band is clear, and the devisable promise of the first record is finally here. The original and excellent vocals of Anadale are better integrated in the music, the songs are catchy and very varied and the rhythmic section just outstanding.

The only complain that I have with this album is a pair of subpar moments. Songs like the cabaret oriented Pretty Darlin are cool, but boring in the long term just like Dorothy's Lament. Nevertheless, the album can be perfectly heard from beginning to end, being this weak moment easily forgettable when we taste prog bombs like Ends Where it Starts, Joy or The Pattern.

Best Tracks: Ends Where it Starts (a song which defines perfectly the style of this band), Joy (original, personal and different), The Pattern (incredible guitars and a great instrumental section, one of the best tracks of the band!) and Still a Dream (I especially like the heavy second section of the song)

Conclusion: The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is not a flawless record, because it contains a pair of subpar tracks and the comparison between the incredible hard parts and the weaker mellower ones is very evident. Nevertheless, it was a very satisfactory improvement since their 2009 debut called Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music which finally confirmed the great potential that this band always had.

Specially recommended for fans the first albums of Muse, and other acts like Riverside and Porcupine Tree!

My rating: ***

 Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.68 | 28 ratings

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Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars First, Jolly are not Neo-Prog!!!

I don't know who labelled them in this style, but they make a mix between metal, alternative rock with interesting elements like jazz, soul and even cabaret music. But Neo-Prog? Not at all!

And what's with this first release of the band? I think they had not reached enough maturity as a band when they recorded this album, because it feels disjointed, strange and not really focused. A pair of good tracks are mixed with tons of mediocre ones, making the hearing of this record really challenging on its integrity.

The potential of the band is there, nevertheless. The drumming is very good, the guitars loud and clear, and Anadale sings in an interesting and very personal style. But the cocktail was not well mixed yet!

Best Tracks: Escape from DS-3 (a strong opener, one of the best), Red Sky Locomotive (another fine up-tempo song) and Carousel of Whale (an interesting song divided in two clear sections)

Conclusion: Jolly showed tons of potential in this album, but they failed in the songwriting. The production is good and the musicianship superb, but the songs feel disjointed, strange and not good accomplished. And the worst fail of all: the album is boring.

Luckily, they learned from their mistakes and with the two parts of The Audio guide to Happiness they reached a great level!

My rating: **

 Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.68 | 28 ratings

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Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Bear with me a second. Here is a band that want us to be happy, and consequently, within this album they have embedded various forms of brain wave stimulation known as Binaural Tones. These tones are scientifically proven to enrich feelings of relaxation, focus, creativity, and happiness through inaudible changes in audio frequencies. Apparently. I don't know about feeling happy while playing this, but I found it to be quite a choppy mixed-up album that is somewhat confusing to listen to. They can go from Meshuggah style polymetric passages into Muse soundscapes without warning and the result is that I came away thinking that they were very clever at what they are doing, and that they are good musicians. Didn't like it a lot though...

For me this is too all over the place, and that there is no real rationale behind it. Now, I can listen to "unusual" music more than most, and in many ways, this is actually mainstream, but I found myself getting frustrated and unsettled as opposed to being put into some sort of artificial nirvana. Some of the tricks such as the sound of a needle on vinyl at the beginning of "Peril" I found annoying, and as for the sounds at the end of "Inside The Womb" they just went on for way too long. I listened right to the very end just in case something interesting happened, but it didn't.

I am sure that there are many out there who will hail this as a masterpiece, and I have seen a few reviews comparing them to Riverside, but while there are some musical similarities at times, the Polish band is so far removed in terms of material to be on another planet. Not one to which I can see myself returning.

 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 113 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars New York's Jolly is a band that really popped on my radar after hearing 2011's The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part One, as their unique mix of progressive rock, alternative, metal, and pop sensibility immediately set them apart from other progressive acts I was hearing at the time. Two years later, and Jolly have left me with a similar impression on their second (and final) installment in the series; Jolly conjures a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with their music, and they also posses the compositional and technical finesse to make the unique ambiance of their sound damn enjoyable to listen to. If anyone was unsure how this band was able to capture touring spots with acts like Riverside and Flying Colors, The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part Two provides a sufficient explanation why - a masterful expression of mood, atmosphere, and attention to detail, this is one of 2013's early musical highlights in my mind.

The style of music heard on The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part Two could best be described as progressive metal, although Jolly hardly resembles 'traditional' prog metal acts like Dream Theater or Fates Warning. The focus is largely geared towards moody and intense atmospheres not too dissimilar from recent Porcupine Tree or Marillion efforts, albeit with more deviations into alternative pop, metal, and even electronic territory. Jolly aren't afraid to incorporate some damn heavy guitar grooves into their music (there are even some harsh vocals in the dynamic "Firewall"!), as well as plenty of catchy melodies and strong hooks; while Jolly are perhaps not the most traditionally 'prog' band out there, their complex, eclectic, and highly atmospheric sound should grab the attention of most progressive metal listeners.

Fortunately, Jolly's excellence transcends their stylistic originality, as their talent as composers and performers is apparent throughout all of The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part Two. Although their playing styles are not particularly flashy, Jolly demonstrates their talents through detailed compositions and professional musicianship across the board - things like the atmospheric build in "Despite the Shell" (and the magnificent guitar solo that soon follows!) or the strong dynamic variation in "Firewall" are the mark of some truly skilled composers. What perhaps amazes me most about Jolly is that, even though their music is quite complex when closely analyzed, it manages to come across as accessible and almost pop-like to the more casual listener; the result is an album that is enjoyable on first listen, but still reveals new details with each new listening session.

As enthusiastic as I was (and still am) about The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part One, this installment is more mature and refined than its already superb predecessor. If compelling atmospheres, tasteful musicianship, and strong melodies are what you crave from progressive metal, Jolly should be on your radar - this album proves that they are part of the genre's upper echelon without a doubt!

 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 113 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Jolly has finally released their Audio Guide to Happiness, Part 2. They've returned with more interesting prog rock with a metal twist, and they layer all of this with a special sense of humor that could only be compared to that of Haken. It's a strange sense of humor that takes the music very seriously, but also likes a bit of quirk thrown into the mix.

Jolly truly does love their fans, and they have shown this by releasing another fantastic album. This album is full of rockers and ballads alike, and they even throw in some bagpipes and synth for good measure (hence, the neo-prog tag). In other words, Jolly expanded their boundaries a bit here. Part 1 is an amazing prog rock album indeed, but Part 2 is even better.

Jolly has certainly matured in such aspects as restrain and eclecticism, and this album is the better for it. Part 1 contained more of a technical edge to the metal parts; and, while this is still present, I feel that Jolly knows that technicality does not always make a good song. They have matured to the point of being experienced musicians now, and I can't wait to see where they take us next.

 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 113 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by GorillaMunch

5 stars Jolly is back!

Jolly is one of the most interesting acts out there today. Blending prog and metal, along with special recording techniques to create sound that pleases the ears, they are a band to watch in the future. They have taken the concept record to a different level the the Audio Guide to Happiness parts 1 and 2. The claim is that the way the sound waves move and other composition elements can act as therapy, bringing one to a greater state of happiness. Now while you can dispute this claim, listening to the album does make you happy because the music is so good. So if you are looking for a hard rocking, progressive music experience, look no furth

 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.51 | 69 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by Earendil

3 stars I had high expectations for this album, between the comparisons to Porcupine Tree and the interesting use of binaural tones, but I was ultimately disappointed. The album is certainly not bad, but there is no new ground broken here, even with the special recording techniques. The album is fairly uniform and static, hovering between straightforward and progressive rock. The euphoric experience the album is meant to induce is over-hyped to say the least. If he uses the imagination, the listener can notice the special feel of the sound, but what it actually does can't really be said.

Here's a description of the album from Amazon: "JOLLY is the summation of four minds set out to revolutionize the art of sound. Under the guise of rock music, JOLLY has devised a therapeutic auditory experience scientifically designed to bring the brain to a state of pure happiness. By combining sophisticated arrangements, ambient textures, aggressive dynamics, and infectious melodies with binaural brain wave technology, a new medium is born. JOLLY's latest release, The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1), is a self-reflective sonic journey scientifically tailored to guide the listener through the strata of his/her own emotional make-up. The listener is subjected to musical mood dynamics and key lyrical triggers while the brain is fed corresponding binaural tones. These tones are carefully and deliberately interwoven within the music to support all appropriate peaks and valleys throughout the experience."

I feel that it's no different than when someone says how dark chocolate is a miracle food because it fights heart disease, is loaded with antioxidants, and gives you longer life. Such claims may have some small basis, but to claim that the difference is actually noticeable is dubious.

However, much of this could definitely be mental that some people are feeling. After such buildup about the relaxing sound waves, one's mind will exaggerate what it feels and create a stronger reaction in the listener. Whatever the band's opinion is, I don't think heavy rock is generally listened to for deep relaxation.

Overall, the album is by no means essential, and its primary appeal is with the creative recording processes used.

Rating: 5/10

 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.51 | 69 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Audio Guide to Awesomeness

It's not every day that you hear a progressive metal album based on the idea of binaural therapy and meditation - which is exactly what New York-based quartet Jolly have done here. The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1, the band's second full-length and first for the prestigious Inside Out label, is an album that intends on bringing the listener to a meditative state - whether or not that's actually the case depends on the listener. All I know is that Jolly have created a concept album that is masterfully crafted and seldom disappoints. The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is filled with excellent compositions, tight musicianship, a stellar production, and a unique take on the progressive metal genre; there's not much more I can ask for! My only complaint (and it's a fairly small one) is that the spoken word portions can sometimes interrupt the flow of the songs, but it's a minute and "nitpicky" issue when one considers the general quality of the material here.

The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is a pretty unique album - I can't say I've ever heard anything like it. Aside from the obvious influences from binaural therapy, the music is a unique blend of pop-prog, metal, and atmospheric rock. The album title is misleading, to say the least - this music is not particularly "happy", and often very dark and atmospheric. I'm often reminded of bands like Porcupine Tree, Opeth (minus the death growls), Happiness Is the Road-era Marillion, and even tads of Pain of Salvation. This may not sound revolutionary on the surface, but it actually does come across as one-of-a-kind and extremely eclectic. All of the songs are well-composed and memorable; there's no weak link here. A few of my favorites are "Joy", "Storytime", "Radiae" (the vocals in this one are breathtaking), and "Where Everything's Perfect".

The "technical" aspect of The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is excellent and a major asset to the release. The musicianship is excellent across the board, and the production is equally terrific. Heavy riffs blend seamlessly with atmospheric and hypnotic sections thanks to the stellar production.

Conclusion:

I didn't really know what to expect when diving into Jolly's latest effort, but multiple repeated listens have left me highly impressed by The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1. I really didn't "get it" the first two times around; this is a case where giving it a few more shots really pays off. I'd recommend any fan of atmospheric progressive rock/metal to give this top-notch effort a spin. My rating here will be a big 4 stars (maybe even 4.5 stars in time). If you like concept albums and plenty of killer material to go along with them, I have no doubt that this album will blow you away!

 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.51 | 69 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Cool music from this young band!

They are Jolly, a band from the US based in NY which consists in four talented members. In 2009 they released a promising debut album, and now in this 2011 they've returned with "The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1", a great album that let us know that newer bands have a lot to offer, so one can have the confidence that progressive rock is still kicking assess.

More than 45 minutes divided in twelve tracks is what you will find here. The album opens with a one-minute intro called "Guidance One", which is just a spacey track with female voice that will lead you to "Ends Where it starts". Yeah since the first second you'll feel the power of the music that seconds later will calm down a little bit when vocals appear. The drums work is great during the whole song, the vocals are pretty good and the bass cannot be left behind. There are heavier moments in this track but that does not mean it is metal-oriented.

"Joy" is less heavy than the previous one, actually the rhythm is pretty catchy so one can easily dig it. Here the keyboard work is also essential; my favorite part is after minute three, an instrumental passage where the bass sound is simply awesome and the atmosphere they create blows my mind. "Pretty Darlin'" has some kind of charismatic rhythm, the piano produces a sensual sound which is complemented by rockier guitars. This song is nice, but not really memorable.

Now, "The Pattern" may be my favorite track. I love that bass at the beginning and how the other instruments join seconds later in order to create a powerful sound. Despite in moments it slow down, my mind is still spinning and waiting for the moment it will explode again. Fantastic track! And another thing I like a lot, is that after this powerful song you will find a much calmer track and that actually does not affect your personal rhythm, so that combination is actually good. "Storytime" is the name of that track, its mood shares some kind of reflection and even tranquilization after the previous song.

"Guidance Two" is like the first part, and it marks the intermission of this album, ending with that female voice in a countdown. "Still a Dream" has some kind of tension and a chaotic atmosphere. The second half of the song starts heavier but it slows down later, creating a dreamy atmosphere at the very end.

"Radiae" has a charming beginning with guitars, seconds later the other instruments and vocals appear and maintain that soft sound that can easily catch your attention. The same structure prevails for three minutes until it makes a change and becomes a bit heavier, combining progressive rock elements with some hints of alternative.

"Where everything's perfect" is another heavier track with some kind of growl vocals in the end of the chorus. After two minutes there is an instrumental passage that I like a lot, the keyboard element here produces cool atmospheres, the bass is sometimes addictive, drums always constant and interesting, while the guitars creates nice figures. After four minutes the song calms down, the sound of kids playing appear, and then the song returns as it began but just for a minute, because later it turns darker.

"Dorothy's Lament" has actually that sound of lamentation as the title suggests. The first minute sounds like hidden or a bit far, but later it increases and the sound is next to you. The guitars are the vocals partner almost all the time. This is a soft track which may be actually the last true track of the album. But actually the last song is "Intermission", which is a seven- second speech of the same female voice of the "guidance", saying that this is the end of the first part.

This is a very good album, I am interested in the second part of this Audio Guide to Happiness, but well, I am not really in love with it, I believe they can catch up more my attention in future works, that is why my final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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