Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Joanna Gruesome - My New Favorite Band

Joanna Gruesome have blown me away with their debut LP Weird Sister.  In the vein of 90’s stalwarts like Dinosaur Jr, The Lemonheads, and Bikini Kill, this Welsh five piece has in my opinion, produced one of the best alternative rock records of the last 15 years.  Their grimy, lo-fi alterna-pop sound is so unique and blasts other indie bands of the 2010’s out of the water.  Lead singer Alanna McArdle (aka Alanna Gruesome) has a beautifully smooth and ethereal voice for the majority of the songs which is wonderful when juxtaposed with the ferociousness of their rhythm section.  The whole band has taken the surname Gruesome, akin to the Ramones, and drummer Dave Gruesome has the speed and intensity of drummers like Travis Barker.  Still, McArdle’s voice while sweet and angelic on songs like “Lemonade Grrl” also has the grittiness of Kathleen Hanna on songs like “Anti-Parent Cowboy Killer”, “Secret Surprise” and “Graveyard”.  Still other tracks, like “Sugarcrush”, “Wussy Void”, “Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still in Love with Me”, and “Madison” sound like the Vaselines in the most incredible way as Alanna and Dave sing together.  Wild tempo changes, an extremely strong underground following, and Raymond Pettibon style album art add to the long list of success’s Joanna Gruesome has crammed into their first full length release.  I can’t express enough how fantastic it is to hear such a phenomenal 90’s revival band.  They focus more on their instruments and vocals than on their electronic effects pedals and computer enhanced sound which is refreshing in the world of “indie” music today.  I really hope the release gets as much attention as it deserves so that maybe the five Gruesome’s can scrape together the funds to hop across the pond and put on some shows because I would be first in line if they did.

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