Original Fortuna Pop release of the classic Joanna Gruesome debut album.
Brimming with irresistible pop melodies and spiked with dissonant fuzzy jangle, their songs are shot through with loud discordant feedback and super-fast, hardcore punk drumbeats. Kicking it against sexism and homophobia, nothing is off-limits, drawing inspiration from DIY scenes such as Riot Grrrl/noisepop/C86/K Records as well as post hardcore like Drive Like Jehu/Converge and the art rock of The Velvet Underground, Swirlies and My Bloody Valentine.
Joanna Gruesome comprise Alanna on vocals, Owen on guitar, Max on bass, George on guitar and Dave on drums. Most of the album was written during a month long stay in a seedy west Brighton hotel called The Hell House. Awash with nods to mental illness and the dark recesses of the mind, the record is littered with references to the devil or zombies and allusions to comic books.
Take first single “Secret Surprise,” in which mental illness takes a physical form and is fought using razor blades. Or “Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers,” which is about stealing a scooter and driving it into the ocean when you should be in school LEARNING. Or “Sugarcrush,” about spending a summer burning knitwear. Slotting in with contemporaries like Swearin’ and Speedy Ortiz, Joanna Gruesome offer a staggeringly diverse album, unexpectedly quiet and surprisingly loud.
“Abrasion, anger, attitude. One guitarist is in the audience, but this isn’t too much of a stretch. There are slower parts where the musicians take a second to breath. There are noisier bits where the musicians take a second to reflect. There are thumpy bits where the musicians take a second to dance and enjoy themselves. Everyone’s smiling. Everyone’s hugging themselves. What a glorious mess of a noise to be a part of. What a glorious sense of community.” – Everett True, Collapse Board
“A brilliant band from Cardiff who love their fuzzy melodies and songs dripped in scuzzy reverb.” Huw Stephens, Radio One.