David Christy Jones – Welcome To Virology
Devilish maestro welcomes you to his COVID fuelled nightmare on debut album.
David Christy Jones has spent the better part of a decade learning his craft. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and a well-travelled vocalist too. A native of West Cork and the son of a Welsh family, David is a well-respected session musician who has indulged his love for music by immersing himself in it. Whether it be jazz, blues, folk, metal or country, music is in Jones’s blood.
However as impressive as Jones obvious mastery of the practical aspects of music is, this artists’ true value lies in his words and the truth contained within them. Not to mention some fantastically off the wall and entertaining delivery that makes ‘Welcome To Virology’ a tremendously palatable prospect.
The opening pair of ‘Welcome to Virology’ and ‘Virology’ sets the tone and the pace for a musical journey that is innovative and filled with unfettered truth. The musicianship is vibrant and unrestrained, as Jones masterfully lords over proceedings like a deranged ringmaster. Oscillating between Faith No More style pomp and Oingo Boingo-Esque satire, this record gets off to a brilliant start.
Next up is ‘Idiocy’, a totally infectious highlight with a great rap breakdown by Benzo. It’s a loaded commentary on the state of play in 2021 and the likes of Trump and Borris Johnson truly get in the ear. This track is a groove-filled delight and comes highly recommended. The scorching guitar solo at the climax of the song is a thing of unbridled beauty and proof positive that, among many things, David Christy Jones is one hell of a musician.
‘Before The Cold’ is a nice change of pace. Its initial hopeful ambience is wonderfully soured by plunging deep into an Alice In Chains inspired maelstrom of sinister vocal harmony. I think ‘sinister’ is a word that can be liberally used when describing Jones vocal content, even on the uptempo tracks he manages to tie a knot in your stomach with the malicious intent spewing from his maw.
‘Imagine if you will’, is an absolute macabre joy, as are all of the virus themed interludes dotted about the record. Reminiscent of Mike Patton at his best or Gwar at their most playful, the hefty mixture of cultural criticism and scorching riffs are absolutely delicious. With each passing track ‘Welcome To Virology’ becomes more and more lyrically engaging. Each cut is its own scenario playing out in this mad COVID filled world, and the grotesque characters that inhabit this landscape are intriguing in the most morose manner possible.
‘Imagine if you will…’ serves as a prelude to ‘Seafood Ain’t That Special’, a track that revs up the gallows humour to an even greater degree. It deceives to be a sickly sweet and uptempo jaunt before spiralling into a doom-laden nightmare that wouldn’t be out of place on a Mister Bungle record.
Up next is the succulent funk of ‘Screaming Idiots’, which diversifies proceedings with a top vocal performance from HYD, and the riotous refrain of “Even in a cell you should really know whos shit you smell”. On this track, we are once again going in hard on politics, conspiracy theories and really stupid people, and this is really where Jones excels. The contempt in his voice is undeniably genuine and wickedly entertaining.
‘The New Normal’ changes the atmosphere once again, this time to spacey, lazy, shoegazing glory. Part of the brilliance of this album is how everything is placed for maximum effect. After the venom slinging that precedes it, ‘The New Normal’ comes in like the sun parting the storm clouds. Its positive vibes again underpinned by a general unease, as the break between each inevitable lockdown.
Of coarse, after this brief reprieve we are plunged right back down in to an intense Arabian style nightmare complete with demonic chanting. The harmonic swirls on ‘Beautiful Morning’ are brilliantly performed as Jones creates a totally immersive atmosphere of dread and menace. A grand finale if ever there was one, and one that may as well read ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’.
‘On Your Way Out’ is a brilliant prologue. Melodrama at its finest with a sting in the tail and a fitting end to our journey into the surreal. This reminded me of a modern take on the famous ‘War Of The Worlds’ radio play, sure it has the potential to cause mass hysteria, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun.
‘Welcome to Virology’ is a great album from front to back and a brilliant example of stretching one theme out over the duration of an album to maximum effect. To some, the term concept album is a dirty word but I think that only applies when the concept is muddled and thrown together. David Christy Jones knows exactly what he is trying to say and executes this grand plan with precision and flair.
The brilliance of this album is that Jones goes all in. This assuredness and dedication in songwriting is wonderfully refreshing and reaps maximum reward in this instance.
It’s blatantly obvious from this record that we are dealing with an artist who is humming with creative energy and, most importantly, has the conviction to take that creativity to extreme places.