“Joys Of Chaos” is one of those albums that need a bit of work before properly appreciating its wares and intentions. On first play the album on Hell Monkey Records from Scottish band Debrasco just washes over the ear, a pleasant enough sound with an eager energy to please but without making a mark that grabbed the attention. One listen to any song or release is never enough to properly assess one’s own opinion for music let alone the individual content, with subsequent plays usually unveiling much more about a band. It can work either way, the initial instant sound that caused a very favourable reaction can upon subsequent listens be revealed as mere smoke and mirrors whereas like in the case of these Stirling rockers the more one listens the more the bands quality shines through.
“Joys Of Chaos” is a definite grower and though its inconsistencies are clear to see it hits the mark far more than it fall short, basically it is a simple rock album without any demands or pretensions and most of all it is excellent entertainment. The album is bulging with twelve lively tracks plus extra bonus live tracks which act as evidence to the thought that emerges whilst listening to the studio cuts leading up to their appearance at the end of the release, that Debrasco are most likely one impressive live band and their shows a riotous affair.
The songs on “Joys Of Chaos” are a mix of 70’s punk, rock ‘n’ roll and hard rock and in certain moments there are some grunge traces added too as in the track ‘Nerve’ with its Nirvana/Pearl Jam flavouring. It has to be said though that when the punk elements of their music is allowed freedom is when Debrasco is most impressive and though their straight rock approached songs are still strong there feels like something is missing in comparison. The tracks ‘Down’ and ‘Take It From Me’ are perfect examples, the first and the album opener bounces in with a deep attention seeking bassline from Iain Laing before pouncing with thumping drums and bracing surges of punk rock ’n’ roll. The track grabs the listener drawing them in to be part of the party and fun. The latter of the two is more of a hard rock sound laced with edginess bringing excited riffs, sing-long- choruses, and to be honest an unsurprising delivery without thrills. It is a good fun song but lacks that extra substance to ensure a constant return to or remembrance of it.
That lack of uniqueness can be applied to a few tracks on “Joys Of Chaos” but that is more than made up for when Debrasco let loose their rampant side as on three of the albums best tracks ‘Narcolepsy’, ‘Got it Made’, and ‘Tell Me How You Feel’. All are full of punk essence and driving impetuosity that is irresistible, the drums from Alan Huntly drive each song as the guitars from Jason Young surge and explode alongside the continually impressive bass of Laing. Vocalist Nicki Ross is strong and brings echoes of 70’s bands like Dead Boys and The Vibrators to the Debrasco sound.
As good as those songs are the albums finest moment is ‘Criminal’ a thrilling slice of punk that in tandem with the other three songs makes the album worth investigation on their own. Laing is irrepressible here again as elsewhere, his strolling bassline addictive and with no disrespect to the rest of the band his play brings many of the tracks alive. This song shows the band at their best and even after the following dozen odd slices of rock on “Joys Of Chaos” have been and gone this is the one still ringing in the ears.
As previously mentioned “Joys Of Chaos” needs an extra amount of attention to fully enjoy its vibrant content and though it never comes up with anything new or strikingly different it more than satisfies with a collection of enjoyable rock tracks delivered with a measure of punk attitude and energy. Debrasco has been on a continuous rise through the previous year garnering increasing media attention and with the release of their promising new album that progress should strongly accelerate.