After the madness of last week’s big new album releases that included two of my most anticipated records in Arcade Fire and Sky Ferreira, the relative paucity of this week’s new releases allows me to talk more about the bands I have discovered during CMJ week a couple of weeks ago.
The tastefully named Joanna Gruesome (hee!) are a five-piece band from Wales. I first heard about them when they were announced as the openers for fellow Welsh mates Los Campesinos! in their current tour. They made further press during CMJ by playing a good handful amount of gigs and getting a lot of good reviews.
Led by singer Alanna McArdle, Joanna Gruesome remind me a lot of early Los Campesinos!, right down to the fact that each member of the band has adopted Gruesome as their surname. The contrasting mix of C86-style twee and and noisy punk that dominates Joanna Gruesome‘s sound is vintage Los Campesinos!. The only difference is that while Gareth David’s rough rasp is used to contrast the twee sound of Los Campesinos!, it is McArdle’s sugary sweet voice that contrasts Joanna Gruesome‘s noisy punk. But otherwise, expect lots of yelps and claps and hooky, hooky melodies. Given how much I love early Los Campesinos!, you can be sure that I enjoyed this a lot. Check out their debut record Weird Sister which the band released earlier this fall.
Stream lead single Sugarcrush embedded below.