My Heart to Joy - Virgin Sails [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

My Heart to Joy

Virgin Sails [7 inch] (2008)

Triumph of Life

Maybe it's just way more prevalent on their earlier releases, but I'm not really sure how My Heart to Joy at the Same Tone is garnering comparisons to Circle Takes the Square, Drive Like Jehu and assorted screamo acts (Portraits of Past? Off Minor? What?). But that's neither here nor there -- the fact of the matter is, the potential this band has is off the charts.

The band's second/third EP, the three-song Virgin Sails, is admittedly more complex in the instrumentation than your average present-day emotional punk band -- but not that much. Frankly, that's a great level the band balances on. It means that with a song like fantastic opener "The Hours Change So We Don't Have To," the band can pack as much emotion into a few dozen words as possible, throw in a super fast and super brief drum fill (see the opening), pound and squeal on those chords for a few relentless seconds, and retain all the feeling they're trying to push through. And if you think Virgin Sails is starting to weaken a bit since the title track slips a bit in quality from the heart of the opener, no worries; closer "All of Life Is Coming Home" saunters into somewhat more atmospheric and assuredly slowed-down post-hardcore territory, imagining the singer of Defiance, Ohio fronting a more raw and desperate version of the Ghost.

Granted, they aren't nearly as intense as those initially mentioned acts, nor play with tempo changes quite as much; maybe it's just because their vocalist screams their words as earnestly as he possibly can in gravelly, comprehensible ways. Still, that's not at all a complaint. Wherever My Heart to Joy are, they're fine as is. And where they're seemingly bound to go are some wondrous places.

Download their entire discography, including Virgin Sails, for free