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First time I heard How to Kill a Butterfly I thought it was pretty good, maybe a 5 or 6 out of 10. Then I listened again, then again & after four or five times I was hooked. Believe me, give this cd a chance & it will grow on you.
So, is it punk music? Frankly I don’t give a shit if it is or isn’t. Look for Band of Holy Joy online or in record stores & they are almost always under the Punk or Indie genre so somebody must think of them that way.
Anyhow, the album. As I type these words I have the album loud on my headphones where you can really appreciate the haunting tones, clever (sometimes very funny) lyrics & the amazing changes in tempo from track to track.
First up is ‘Go Break the Ice’ & maybe my favourite track on the cd. Starting slowly & building up to a crescendo typifying the Band of Holy Joy at their majestic best.
Next is ‘Oh What a Thing This Heart of Man’ and in a similar vein to ‘Go Break the Ice’ the verses build up to the “I say we strike out now” finale.
There is a theme to this cd & a lot of references to the North (grim North by the sounds of things). ‘Three Men Underground’ is up next in which haunting vocals give in to the sing along chorus & then back to the melancholy verses which have you reaching for the bottle.
‘Between a Nightingale’s Song & Now’ follows which again has you singing along to the upbeat chorus, not sounding dissimilar to Zounds in my opinion.
Following the beautiful musical interlude of track 5 ‘Sadness, Ignorance, Longing’ we come to ‘Northern’ (guess the theme). “Sad city always wet with dirty rain” will probably describe this track & what to expect. Again, a great mix of slow depressing verses interrupted by an upbeat chorus.
‘The Observer’s Book of Birds’ Eggs’ had me smiling in wonder at such an unusual song. With Johny Brown narrating a childhood recollection of searching for birds eggs before eventually crushing a Song Thrush egg between his fingers! Fantastic stuff!
Track 8 is ‘The Repentant’. Another song delivered in almost all spoken word which leaves you perplexed at the harrowing description of a dropout & the state of the planet we live in.
‘Shake the Dust off Your Feet’ is back to the Band of Holy Joy I recall from years & years ago when I first heard them which is followed by the final track ‘A Clear Night, A Shooting Star, A Song For Boo’. As far as classic songs go this is right up there for me. We are told to turn off everything electrical one by one, then the office blocks, the airports...and find a field or a stream or a river & lie on your back & stare at the sky. Amazing stuff.
Punk? Folk? Something in between? Who cares. Just go and buy this cd and allow the Band of Holy Joy take you into their world.