Joyful Noise Recordings is a small label out of Indianapolis, IN who put out super creative limited edition releases (like a DVD you can play on your turntable, or a 12-sided record) by some of the most talented and unique artists around.
Every month you'll receive a limited edition, uniquely screen-printed or color vinyl 7" record. Each record will come from one of their three distinct Record Series: Mystery Singles, Almost Live from Joyful Noise, or Cause & Effect.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
About Joyful Noise Recordings VIP 7" Series
The Subscription Box: Joyful Noise Recordings VIP 7" Series
The Cost: $15.00/month + $3.00 shipping
The Products: Every month you'll receive a limited edition, uniquely screen-printed 7" record, plus all of the VIP perks.
Ships to: US
Joyful Noise Recordings VIP 7" Series April 2018 Review
Joyful Noise is known for putting out highly collectible and unique releases by artists who are prolific and/or push the boundaries of music. When subscribing to the 7" series, you'll receive a record from one of their three series.
Let's see what I got!
Mystery Single 7" - Retail Value $10.00 (there are 2 listed for sale on Discogs at various prices but it has never been sold)
Ok- so here's the thing that I learned about the Mystery Singles 7" Series. Even when you receive it, you don't know who it is! The sleeve and label are completely anonymous and there are no real clues aside from the screened image and the recorded material.
Mystery Singles offer a sneak peek at some of our most highly anticipated releases. Featuring new music from an upcoming, unannounced album (at time of issue), they’re distributed incognito for a blind “first look”. Each release contains an exclusive audio component, and often a secret message from the artist..
The sleeve for the record (and all in the series) is a really cool matchbook style. This one is different because it actually has space for the owner to write in the artist, title, and listener notes when they figure out what it is!
The B side, like all of the 7" records in the series have a screened image on it. This, of course, means it's not playable and is just one of the cool ways to make records unique and collectible. The image looking down at a gentleman in a suit and hat, with the hat covering most of his face.
It's hard to tell with the clear vinyl, but this side is the playable one and doesn't tell you who the artist is! At least I know to play it at 45rpms. I hate it when 7"s don't tell you what speed to play it at and with certain bands (usually ones without vocals) it's hard to tell.
I popped it on my turntable to give it a listen and oh boy was it not what I was expecting. I wish I could find it online to let you all hear it but I'm going to say that I strongly dislike it. The vocals are heavily vocoded and the lyrics include the chorus "there's nothing wrong with having sex with your ex" against different styles of music mashed together with a lot of random feedback. There are also samples of a man talking that sound like snippets from an interview. I let this record sit for a while, and was talking to Andy about it last week because I was frustrated that I couldn't begin to figure out who it was. Checking the Joyful Noise site produced nothing new, as the only viewable singles are from 2016. He suggested 2 things: looking it up on Discogs and using the music-identifying app Shazam. Shazam came up with nothing, so I took a look at the Discogs listing for the record. I was comforted to see that there is a single comment on the page written by someone who is also in the dark as to who the artist is. The release page did provide a clue though: the matrix/run out of records often include identifiers like side, pressing plant info, or otherwise fun little sayings etched into the vinyl. I didn't think to check mine, but the person who added it to Discogs typed it out. "SEX, LOVE, REDNECKS, WAR, PEACE AND DEAD FLIES" is etched into it. I figured I'd google that and got a hit for an artist named Swamp Dogg (aka Jerry Williams Jr.) who is a soul/R&B singer who started making music in the 1950s and continues to be active. Is he the vocalist on the track? Is this a collaboration with a current Joyful Noise artist? Is the artist just a fan of his and decided to quote him on the record matrix? I tried to google a slew of things together but ultimately came up with nothing. Since these mystery singles are sneak peeks of upcoming releases, it's not even out yet.
There's an insert with their email address should you have any questions or there is something wrong with your order. I can't tell if it's specific to this release, so I'm not sure it gives any clues as to who the artist is! To make matters worse, they sent out a VIP newsletter email last week that stated (among other things): "Last months Mystery Single has stumped absolutely everyone and people have no idea how they feel about it.". At least I'm not alone! Since I'm new to Joyful Noise, I'm not sure when (or if at all) the artist will be revealed, but this has been quite a journey!
Joyful Noise VIP Membership - Retail Value $5.00
In addition to the 7", subscribing to this series gives you VIP access to Joyful Noise releases so you can get first dibs on preorders, 10% off in their store at all times, free downloads, cheap shipping, and sometimes even free tickets to shows in your area. Two months in and it's proved to be fruitful for me to snatch up limited releases and be the first to hear about exciting stuff.
Verdict: The Joyful Noise VIP 7" Series this month wasn't my cup of tea but I still enjoyed trying to uncover the mystery and received those nice VIP benefits! This subscription is definitely only for Joyful Noise superfans like myself or people who otherwise love collectible vinyl.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? It looks like that ship has sailed, but I'm assuming you can sign up now to get the 7" for May!
Value Breakdown: For $18.00 ($15.00 + $3.00 shipping), I got a limited edition one-sided 7" plus a month of VIP access to Joyful Noise Recordings. Since the 7" was sold for $10.00, and the VIP membership is $5.00, I am basically breaking even and paying for the shipping of the record. It's worth it to me since I get the small 10% discount and early access to new releases that may sell out quickly or go up in value at some point in the future. These released can potentially be worth more down the road as well with collectors.
Rate, review, and follow this subscription on the Joyful Noise Recordings VIP 7" Series profile page.
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