Mistakes Were Made

Too Much Joy

Independent release, 2021


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


I live and worship at the altar of Too Much Joy. My email address is a literal TMJ reference. But holy hell, I can’t believe we have a new TMJ album in 2021. This one comes twenty-five years after the release of their last full-length, …Finally. The original foursome, including rhythm guitarist/producer William Wittman, wound up creating new music while locked down in 2020 quarantine. Jesus, this is epic!my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening track “Blinding Light Of Love” sounds like an extremely powerful band with great musicianship. You would never know this album was made by five guys who were never in the same room at once. This takes me back to 1992 and my favorite TMJ album, Mutiny. I can’t help but feel like I’ve been sent back in time to the ‘90s when I hear “Camper Of The Year,” which is a quick and really punchy song.

Frontman Tim Quirk still sounds as smarmy and snarky as in the band’s heyday and the others haven’t changed much either. Neither have their influences. “Hair Shirt” coyly mimics “Train In Vain” by one of their favorites, The Clash. I can’t believe how much fun they’re having and how well it translates to the listener. Even the quasi-mellower tracks like “More Of The Stuff I Like” sound amazing and really leaves the listener wondering why this band weren’t bigger.

It’s nice to hear the band do some relatively new things, like the keyboards on “Not Being You” and female backing vocals, courtesy of Joan Osborne on “Uncle Watson Wants To Think.” “Oliver Plunkett’s Head” is one of their more lyrically complex tracks but it still manages to work. The band reverts to their past glory with “Snow Day,” which is one of my faves on the record.

This is one of their most cohesive and solid records and is one of the most surprising things I’ve heard in 2021. Who knew that a band that I discovered in college in the mid 2000s that hasn’t done more than a few singles and compilations in twenty years could make one of the most exciting discs of the year. Thanks Covid for allowing this to become a reality.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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