Joy, the third release from Boston-based noise rock group Deep Hole, is a slow and beautiful aural journey. At first, Deep Hole sounds like Converge attempting to cover Earth, something that already compliments their songwriting and production. But as Joy continues, the band reveals just how idiosyncratic their style is. Comparison to other groups does not do them justice.
The second track, aptly titled II, is a microcosm of Joy’s aesthetic. A brilliant use of rhythmic displacement in its main riff creates a powerful sense of tension. The anticipation of the accented beat four in both bars is only ever impermanently resolved by the cycle of this recurring motif. An unwavering sense of time, driven by the drums, leads the listener through this wonderfully unnatural rhythm. Within this intricate rhythmic theme is the intertwined reverberated tone of both guitar and bass. The vocals, rather than lying on top of this foundation, emerge out of it.
If you can make it out to see Deep Hole perform this summer, do it. Joy is a record that deserves to be heard live. Their next gig is July 3rd at Great Scott with the experimental doom trio Seed.
Jackson Albert Mann is an activist, writer, and musician from Boston, MA. He is an Adjunct Professor of Music at Bunker Hill Community College and a Teaching Artist at Berklee College of Music’s City Music Program.