Don’t be fooled by the horribly pathetic new age intro ‘Guidance One’ because what follows is nothing short of stunning! Somewhere between progressive rock and metal you will find Jolly’s, “The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part I)”.
Speaking of what rock is about, this album nearly has it all: a huge, powerful sound, great stylistic variations and a certain and special atmosphere. Most of the time the guitar-driven songs remind me of Tool, Porcupine Tree and even Opeth at times. ‘Take Ends Where It Starts’, for example: the dynamic changes in this song are great, just like the riffs and it’s similar with ‘The Pattern’, which in turn has a slight King Crimson feel to it.
That’s not the end of the similarities, the song ‘Pretty Darlin’’ sounds a little like a heavier version of ZZ Top or The Black Keys with its blues feeling. Softer songs like ‘Joy’ or ‘Storytime’ are also very good, too, because the band knows how to create the special atmosphere found in the heavy songs, in the softer tracks as well using much quieter sounds.
Then take the tracks ‘Still A Dream’, ‘Radiae’ and ‘Where Everything’s Perfect’ which mix the hard passages with acoustic and ambient sequences which really add something and enhance this special atmosphere even more. Only the two ‘Guidance’ tracks are weak and seem rather like gimmicks than anything else. The album ends with the psychedelic ‘Dorothy’s Lament’ and the final gimmick track, ‘Intermission’.
And why is this album so good? Jolly just know how to deliver great riffs in the right way. The band’s playing is so powerful in most of the songs and when you put this together with the fantastic structures, the result is great. That’s not all, the great and clear sound, mixed together with a special atmosphere that is created with electronic samples in the background go hand in hand to make “The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part I)” a great album!