Dripping Wet – Joanna Gruesome, Weird Sister, MG Rating 91.321

Hola Internets! It is I, Schnitzel Boogieman /aka Schnitzy B/ aka Schnitz and Stitch/ aka Schnitz B. Goode/ aka The Schnitz John B./ aka Johnny B. Boy/ aka You Are The Generation Who Ate More Pork And You Get What You Deserve, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.  I’m here to spit out another fact-based nugget of musical delight for entertaining your eyeballs and ear balls.  It has been a long couple of weeks here under the Moist Graffiti overpass, with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Chanukah to celebrate, and then an entire internet to surf when the public library whose wifi we squat on reopened after the break, not to mention the amount of time it took for us to destroy/delete/ bury and salt the earth above any and all Lostprophets music or merchandise we might have picked up over the years.  With those tasks completed the MG crew is now focused on bring you more top quality insight into the worlds of popular music and popular culture for at least another few weeks, before we go into winter hibernation mode and start churning out end of year reviews and best of lists.  Onward!

Drafting the Potsdam agreement

Drafting the Potsdam agreement

It has long been known that the spoils of WW2 were divided between the victors.  The Americans gained all the scientists with knowledge of bomb making, rockets and atomic energy.  The Russians obtained all the experts in state surveillance and mass extermination of political adversaries.  However, it is not common knowledge what the Brits got out of the rubble of Nazi Germany.  Was it advances in orthodontics? Functional mass transport systems? That famous Germanic sense of humor?

No, the Brits got all the composers.

Think about it – Beethoven, Bach, Dedekind etc etc.  From 1600 through 1945 the Germans ruled the world of popular music.  No other country had woven such a rich musical tapestry throughout their national culture.  From the pounding mechanical beats of the industrial Ruhr Valley to the lofty echoing mountain peaks of the Alps, no other country had fused the natural and anthropogenic worlds so seamlessly, music pouring out of every orifice, a song in every heart, a tune on every tongue, a symphony in every voiceless velar fricative.

But now?  Silence.  The music has died, the fricatives howl with lament and there hasn’t been a decent German musician since 1945 (David Hasselhoff excepted…).

It all stems back to one night in October 1945, when the finest Axis musical minds were bundled into the bomb bays of a Washington B.1 and smuggled back to the UK in the dead of night. Sequestered in the middle of the Cotswolds, these boffins went to work constructing a theory of music that would turn the world on it’s head. Re-purposing the massive computers developed to crack Axis codes nearby at Bletchley Park and the using the advances in automated manufacturing developed during the war effort, the crew set about making a machine that created pop groups.  It took 16 years of miscreants and malcontents before they finally created the Beatles, and the rest, as they say, is history.

For 40 years the sun never set on the British popular music empire. New models were released every few years as the Rolling Stones, Queen, the Smiths, Suede, Blur and the Supernaturals all made it to the pinnacle of the pop music pyramid.  Yes, there were experiments that went awry – one dangerous explosion in a Scottish paint factory led to the Bay City Rollers.  The mainframe became infected with a porn virus, leading to the great Spice Girls outbreak of 1995, and eventually the death of many of the original programmers led the algorithm to become self aware, moody and smug, resulting in the creation of Coldplay.  After this debacle the program was shuttered by the British government and presumed dead forever.  British pop music would no longer be created in a laboratory by scientists and instead have to be created organically the same way it is done in the rest of the world – by massive reality television audition shows.

However, in 2005 a small group descended from the original Teutonic refugees broke into the dusty lab where so much musical history had been created and began to rerun the old algorithms, stripped of the later larded-on stylings, determined to create only pure pop nuggets.  The first of these experiments was too successful.  The creation of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart surpassed any expectations, resulting in a band so magnificant, so overpoweringly British, that people would surely realize they were created by mad scientists and the jig would be up.  TPOBPAH were therefore traded to America for the rights to Madonna and three nu-Emo bands to be named later. And a box of bats.  Since their trade to the colonies of course as we all know, TPOBPAH exploded and have spent the last 5 years as the deserved rulers of the entire musical world.

The second attempt at alchemically making this perfect pop band resulted in the creation of Veronica Falls.  These sugary-sweet Londoners contained just the right amount of jangle and twee to instantly melt the heart of pop fans everywhere, and yet enough fuzz and reverb to quicken the pulse of even the most jaded rocker.  Needless to say they have dominated the global charts ever since.

How to top those two phenomenal bands?  Well, by now I’m sure you’ve heard of Joanna Gruesome.  The renegade boffins behind the curtain tweaked the algorithm to include a pinch of aggression, a heaping helping of dissonance and a modicum of yelling.  The result?  Pure sonic gold.

The opening track, “Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers” brilliantly sets the stage for the entire album.  Sounding like Blur on Ritalin, it pops, it rocks, it echoes, it crunches, it stops and then it starts again for the best 2 minutes and 38 seconds I’ve had all year.  Sorry, that should be “heard” all year.

The lead single, and stand out track of the entire album is next, “Sugarcrush”.  Opening with some dissonant open chord blasts it quickly moves into some more familiar chords, a bit of jangle, some feedback, sweetly harmonizing male-female vocals and before letting loose with the staccato snares, ringing cymbals, more feedback and frankly unintelligible lyrics – this is the best pop song of the year.  The real highlight of the song, and the album, occurs during the last 30 seconds, when the band seemingly gets bored of playing the songs and returns to the dissonant groove of the opening few bars.  This breakdown sounds like playtime in the pre-school, with all 5 band members gleefully abusing their instruments for all they’ve got.  It’s noisy, joyous and utterly fantastic, and if your reaction isn’t to grin along wildly, then maybe Moist Graffiti isn’t for you.

Wussy Void shows the band can just about maintain the same energy and menace through a slower-paced number, although it does feel like a bit of a let down, placed after the rollicking Sugarcrush.

Madison returns to more familiar upbeat territory with riffs somehow constructed out of atonal string-bashing and just enough sugar on the sludge to make it unforgettable.

Lemonade Grrrl again highlights the unpredictability of each song, as a sweet start soon gives way to double speed drumming and strumming overlaid with sweet vocals and harmonies that may or may not say “You and me, we’ll make her fucking cum – Lemonade Grrrl”.

Secret Surprise stands out as another perfect track with the screamed “I dream of pulling out your teeth” chorus emerging from the cymbal crashes, choppy guitars and barely controlled feedback.  This is a band unafraid to push things right to the edge of their ability and then a little further, just to see what will happen.  And what happens is generally awesome.

“Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still In Love With Me” continues in the same vein and again ends with an instrumental breakdown of unrestrained instrument bashing. Now, normally, the Moist Graffiti review crew would look down upon such seeming repetition, chalking it up to laziness, a lack of ideas or an inability to finish a song properly.  However, in this case, we will happily chalk it up to fucking awesomeness and leave it at that.

The final third of the album is not that strong, as the band seems to run out of steam somewhat.  “Candy” shows that the band fades a little when the tempo drops and the instruments must be played rather than beaten into submission.  But lead singer Alanna McArdle has the vocal chops to carry this song, showing she can sing sweetly as well as she can scream, a dynamic range that most vocalists fail to pull off.  Just for good measure the band manage to sneak in a bit of instrument abuse toward the end of the song as well, just to ensure that no string is left unbroken.

“Graveyard” grooves along nicely, but never quite hits the highs that some of the other rockers reach, instead tripping over itself in the fast parts, and never quite catching up in the quieter parts.

Unfortunately the album closes with the weakest song, as “Satan” feels a little unfinished.  This tends to leave a bit of a bad memory in your mind when trying to collect your thoughts on the whole album.  After experiencing such a rollercoaster ride over the previous 30 minutes it is a shame that the album ends on a comparative low, and not one that sums up the visceral, body-slamming, face-melting, heart-warming ridiculousness of the entire album.  My only guess is that all that energy expended in the rest of the album must have really taken it out of the band of merry infants, and perhaps it was nap time…

This is an album that demands to be played loudly and often, each listen revealing more nuance than the last, each decibel warming your heart just a little more.  In a year where music has become incredibly overwrought and dull (looking at you Arcade Fire), any controversy has been painfully contrived and carefully planned (good golly Ms Miley) and any spontaneity wrung out by the drum machines (bonjour Imbécile Mal Foutu) and retreads (Mr M & M), Joanna Gruesome are vital, human, unfiltered and real – in short they celebrate being alive and physical in a digital age.  Does this herald a movement away from our spying smartphones, autotuned and quantized drum loops, infantilized and fractured political debate, and self absorbed social media?  Almost certainly not.  But if this is what the raging against the dying of the light sounds like, then there’s hope for the proles yet.

At least until the Great British machine churns out the next buzz band.

Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister

Jangle dipped in just the right amount of fuzz and reverb      97.475

More hooks than a slaughterhouse      96.254

Probability that some parts were actually recorded by kindergarteners      91.837

Putting welsh alternative music on the radar for a positive reason       99.999

Average                                      96.391

Bonus Points:

Still need to work out how to keep the energy up when the tempo drops:       -1

   You’ve got to figure they’ll regret that name sooner or later:      -4.07

MG Rating:                                  91.321

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Dripping Wet – Joanna Gruesome, Weird Sister, MG Rating 91.321

  1. Pingback: When I saw what the Moist Graffiti crew had chosen as the album of the year I literally cried because it was so epic | Moist Graffiti

  2. re increasing our daily intake of vitamin E and other healthy hair vitamins could earnestly improve the health of our hair and body.
    So make sure you visit your physician and get recommendations about
    safety during the fast. The best plan for any diabetic healthy
    cooking diet is to make it colorful by including
    a different colored fruit with every meal of the day.

  3. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  4. Because of the difficulty of fixing heavier scratches, we strongly recommend you don’t scratch it.
    Acrylic plastic sheets are considered as the nearest comparison to glass with more assets to go with.
    For the cat front, remove the protective film and press crystal gems onto the
    face as eyes. Remove the protective film from one side of the sheet tape and press the tape
    onto the back side of the construction paper.

  5. Unitech Instrument are the suppliers and manufacturer of high-quality large assortment Gear which is designed for
    demanding industrial level applications. Maybe now the powers that be at
    Ford Motor Company will re-think their position on bringing the
    diesel-powered version of the Fiesta to the U.
    If you weren’t already convinced that a tankless water
    heater is the way to go, think about this.
    ) you may get some metallic noises until oil gets through all the
    galleys and oil pressure rises ‘ monitor your
    oil pressure gauge or light and don’t rev the engine during starting and warm up.

  6. Rather than selecting a single picture you can have as many pictures
    as you like combined into a single professional photo montage.
    Art on canvas has always attracted people who have an artistic bent of mind.
    Take a translucent paper cup and decorate it to make a
    firefly. Here we will discuss the recommended method for
    permanent wall installation of high gloss acrylic, such as in a kitchen as a splashback
    surface.

  7. What catches the eye of anyone that looks up as they admire the exterior design. decorative
    trim molding,dental crown molding,dental crown moulding,dentil crown molding,dentil crown moulding.
    Crown Molding: Points That Can Transform your Confusion into Knowledge.
    aluminum crown molding,aluminum crown moulding,architectural moulding,buy crown molding,coping crown moulding,
    cost of crown molding,crown molding and trim.

  8. ‘ Specialty pieces, such as carved cornices,
    can be added for a custom look. With polyurethane crown molding, it
    comes in one molded piece, that can be easily cut or miter cut to size and installed all at once.
    Therefore, it’s used for external applications
    apart from interior designs. These Japanese
    textile companies make highly technological material which he used to make his shirt and jackets.

  9. Leave it in your hair for about an hour or two before shampooing it out and styling your hair in the
    typical method. Faulty science was used to convince the public that ALL saturated fats were unhealthy, when in fact
    saturated fats rich in the medium chain fatty acids, like lauric acid, are very healthy.

    But it’s best to apply a small amount on your skin and see if
    any adverse reaction takes place if you’re a first
    time user. When I put it on after showering in the morning, my skin feels hydrated, soft and well moisturized throughout the day.

  10. You will find literally hundreds of manufacturers available, so selecting one product can be a headache.
    A snail emits this skin serum to maintain its health and survival against the
    obstacles of being fully exposed to the sun and constantly incurring injuries from travelling over Earth’s elements.
    Apart from this, God-given practical function, lashes are used by a plethora of women as leverage in getting the attention of that someone they absolutely like.
    YOU CAN ALSO USE THIS TECHNIQUE TO EVEN OUT UNEVEN BROWS.

  11. Nowadays, more and more doctors are suggesting Ulthera for all those clients,
    who wish to sculpt their faces in a non-invasive manner.
    Cosmetic Enhancement is now officially “out of the closet”.
    Ulthera is a process that is actually approved by the FDA, which is pretty important as the
    FDA does not give its seal of approval to any procedure
    that doesn’t offer a benefit as promised. Ulthera is able to
    address the deep tissues of that face as a facelift would.

  12. I’ve looked & felt thyroid for greater than eighteen years, and it is still not
    easy, the smartest practice to conclude whether the gland is raised, is to have an ultrasound done.
    When presented with the fact that the problem can be solved with herbal growth enhancer products,
    they are usually surprised and don’t know what to believe.
    And hair removal creams work but they can be messy, they smell weird, and sometimes they irritate
    the skin. Although almost all user have had success with this product, some
    of them first go through a few days of uncomfortable stinging
    in the eye area.

  13. This can give you an example of their work and also give you ideas
    on what you may want. Although tattoos are now removable and do
    fade, it can be costly to correct a badly done eyebrow.
    One really good aspect of this product is that it is
    very reasonably priced. Quite a few anti aging beauty solutions
    will contain sun protection in them.

  14. The outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor of 1,250 ft (381 m) tower is not
    only the popular touristic attraction but also one of the most romantic places in New York City.
    You need to use this treatment daily for several weeks.

    The Wonderbar is a detoxifying soap with extremely high PH levels.
    NEUTRALS: Warm whites, beiges, tans, brown, navy, soft
    black.

  15. Just try to drink the water you are supposed to daily.
    Orange peels provide a very effective way in the treatment of dark and dull lips.
    The Wonderbar is a detoxifying soap with extremely high PH levels.

    All of the face aerobics exercises we give you here should be
    practiced for at least one minute per day to observe results; the more you do them,
    the sooner you and others will notice the results.

  16. I promise you, when you learn how to use the power of color to compliment your eyes, skin, and natural hair color, just like on the makeover
    shows, magic will happen. So do your best in protecting and
    treating your skin right and follow the tips of skin care for men. To lighten dark lips
    naturally, you should always keep them moisturized. Vitamin B,
    proteins and calcium are necessary for pink lips.

  17. Look for a cleansing milk or a foaming cleanser instead.
    Bimatoprost is being used commonly in therapy for glaucoma and the eye doctors have
    been noticing that the eyelashes of their patients are lengthening during the span of
    the treatment. Thicker and longer lashes are a vitalpart of your beauty.
    Fining touches – the skin is soothed using a skin calming tonic; HD
    Brow Beater is used to hold the brow in place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s