Thrilling Cardiff-based noisepop five-piece Joanna Gruesome will be releasing their terrific debut album via Fortuna POP! (Europe) and Slumberland (USA) in September. 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. This album sees their first foray away from recording in a living room to a proper studio under the guidance of producer MJ of the much lauded Hookworms.
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 and My Bloody Valentine, Joanna Gruesome offer a staggeringly diverse album, unexpectedly quiet and surprisingly loud.
"A brilliant band from Cardiff who love their fuzzy melodies and songs dripped in scuzzy reverb." --Radio One.
Oakland's mysterious Manatee are a fiery 4-piece who chart a fine line between the melodic aggression of mid-80s hardcore/punk and more contemplative rocking pop. The project dates back to 2006, beginning as the duo of Nik Carlson on bass and Black Tambourine/Whorl/Crabapples alumnus Mike Schulman on guitars and drums. Mainly a vehicle for beer-fueled weekly noise fests, Manatee did start accruing a catalog of tunes that were influenced by Flying Nun bands, '77 punk and psychedelic freeform noise.
The December 2011 release of the "Single Payer Class War" 7" flexi/download single delivered on that chaotic promise in spades. Pairing two more tunes from the 2009 session, this flexi is a sharp blast of punk energy, bringing to mind mid-80s SoCal pop-punk in the same way that label-mates Terry Malts do. Wrapped in a sleeve that's an homage to The Dils classic Dangerhouse single, these two songs are frantic, barely-controlled bursts of melodic fury, packed with guitar crunch galore, often exploding into shards of uncontrolled feedback. Not too bad for a bunch of old men.