Posts Tagged ‘trust fund’

Joanna Gruesome/Trust Fund at Performer

It’s always a joy to get new Joanna Gruesome vinyl, and this time out fans are treated to a delicious two-fer: a split LP with three new tracks from Joanna Gruesome plus three new tracks from UK newcomers Trust Fund.

The whole affair adds up to a noisy, punk-fueled skin abrasion (but in a good way, ya dig?) The split is a co-partnership between Athens, GA-based HHBTM Records and the UK label Reeks of Effort (headed up by Joanna Gruesome member Max Warren). And if this showcase is any indicator of things to come, we can’t wait for more label team-ups from these two.

In short, this split rules. You’ve got two rad bands from across the pond dishing out three cool new tracks apiece. Their sounds are different, yet complementary, and on the whole it all just works. Highly recommended.


Joanna Gruesome/Trust Fund at Maximum Rock and Roll

This split with Wales Joanna Gruesome and UK band Trust Fund offers up some dreamy pop. What I love about Joanna Gruesome is how contained and sweet and melodic they can be, while utterly ripping at times. I mean it’s a hard line to walk, but they do it damn well. Their songs are not as catchy as those on their recent Slumberland full-length Weird Sister, but they certainly still solid….you don’t put your best stuff on a split y’know? Trust Fund sounds sonically similar, but in such close comparison they lack the same punch as Joanna Gruesome.

Joanna Gruesome and Trust Fund at Get It On Vinyl

Only on vinyl can you really enjoy the magic that is a split EP. Digital only music consumers will never understand just how awesome they can be. The best splits are ones that compliment both bands who share just enough influences while at the same time maintaining their distinction.

Joanna Gruesome makes splits even better. Let’s start there.

We were introduced to Joanna Gruesome a couple years ago, and have been in love ever since. After releasing their first full length, Weird Sister, the Alanna Gruesome led low-fi project had some leftovers and the good folks over at Happy Birthday To Me Records were kind enough to make sure these tracks were not left to be lost studio cuts.

Included on the Gruesome side are two new songs, “Jerome” and “Coffee Implosion” as well as a re-working of “Satan” off of Weird Sister. The song is heavy, but more subtle than the original arrangement. Even with the weight of the track, it has a soothing quality, melodic and beautiful, even with the whaling guitar at the close. “Coffee Implosion” shows more confidence in Alanna Gruesome’s voice as compared to her earlier works. The band has grown tighter too, their low-fi sound becoming even more infectious.

The flipside is an introduction to another band from the same demographic. Making a name for themselves in the underground is Trust Fund. The first track, “Reading the Wrappers” is a darker song, but finds the groove with the chorus breakdown. The real magic of Trust Fund is the side closing track, “No Pressure.” Slower paced, the band achieves harmony with great harmonies, soothing guitars, and subtle horns.

Make sure to pick up a copy of this split from your local independent record store or directly from HHBTM Records.


Joanna Gruesome at Big Takeover (print)

JG are a bunch of hardcore kids who grew up and decided to play indie pop. That might be an overly simplistic description, but sonically its pretty accurate. Their tracks on this split, the Gruesomes’ first post-Werid Sister release, finds them toning down their aggressive side and focusing more on the sugarysweetness with bubbly, hook-laden tracks such as “Jerome (Liar).” TF are a good companion, sharing a similar musical style but with enough distinction so they don’t run together completely. Their first two tracks are a bit more of a straightforward mid-tempo rock ’n’ roll than the Gruesomes, the closing “No Pressure” is a sweet melancholic pop ballad.


Joanna Gruesome at Dynamite Hemorrhage

UK noise-pop battle royale of sorts with three songs each from Joanna Gruesome (Cardiff) & Trust Fund (Bristol). Joanna Gruesome continue to display more than a passing familiarity with the early 90s Slumberland Records catalog, mixing syrupy sweet female vocals with blasts of mega-fuzzed guitar much like Velocity Girl or Black Tambourine before them on “Coffee Implosion” & “Jerome (Liar).” Those two tracks are essentially pages ripped from the same book as last year’s Weird Sister LP, but “Satan (Desire Edition)” is a literal revision of that album’s closing number, slightly toughened-up in the fidelity department but otherwise not drastically transformed. Meanwhile, two of Trust Fund’s three contributions, “Reading the Wrappers” & “Scared,” owe some heavy debts to the sort of helium-voiced poppy punk (but a little too well-mannered to be pop-punk) for which the world has Superchunk to either thank or blame. There’s a charmingly scrappy, homespun quality in their sugary boy/girl trade-offs that probably would have hit me right in the heart when I was a sad teenager spending too much time in my bedroom making mixtapes with “Driveway to Driveway” on them, or listening to college radio shows dominated by the likes of Sarge & Rainer Maria (so basically, fifteen years ago). Do you have a secret desire to relive the state of all-ages indie rock scene of 1998 all over again? Trust Fund can potentially make this happen for you. (Reeks of Effort/Happy Happy Birthday to Me; /


Throwing Muses, Hobbes Fanclub, Joanna Gruesome, Lunchbox, Fishboy, Primitives at Tuning Into the Obscure

The Hobbes Fanclub – Up At Lagrange – Shelflife Records – LP/CD

Hazy and dreamy guitars and vocals gives this album a sort of hot, hazy and lazy summer feel, which for me is just perfect. It’s refreshing and relaxing at the same time, without compromising on songwriting or quality.  It definitely fits in with Shelflife’s vast catalog of sound, and this album delivers nothing short of perfect.  Fans of the Chills, The Ropes and even those who’ve been digging some of the more recent M83 singles will enjoy this album.  Sweet stuff! (4.8 out of 5)

Lunchbox – Lunchbox Loves You – Jigsaw Records – CD

Jangle, pop rock, indie, psyche, dream pop and a hint of garage make this album so delicious that I want a second helping. This album is quite sublime without losing any potency lyrically.  It’s hazy and dreamy at times but knows where to pack its punches.  It reminds me a bit of the September Girls with hints of the Vaselines, Veruca Salt and others.  The love here is mutual, Lunchbox! Keep on rocking!  (4.7 out of 5)

Fishboy – An Elephant – Yofishboy – LP + Graphic Novel

This indie punk lo-fi pop outfit returns with a soundtrack to their graphic novel that follows the ghost of Topsy the Elephant in her quest for vengeance for being electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903. And if you’ve seen that video footage from that time period, I think you’d find yourself joining Topsy’s quest.  This album rocks!  Life, death, and everything afterward makes this hard to resist, especially when it sounds so cheery.  It’s been a while I’ve come across a themed record like this where I dare to call it a rock opera of sorts.  Awesome!  (5 out of 5)

The Primatives – Spin-O-Rama – Elefant Records – CD

Their first album of new material in almost 22 years, the band creates some real indie-pop jewels. I’d say it likens closely to their early material from the mid 80s, picking up right where they left off.  It’s so catchy, sparkling and sweet without sacrificing its rock edge, like a more jangle-new wave Vaselines.  Male and female vocals make this extra dreamy. I can totally see why this band has been a major influence for so many bands/artists over the years.  The writing and composing are top notch and highly addictive. Lovely! (4.9 out of 5)

Joanna Gruesome / Trust Fund – Split 12” – HHBTM – 12”

Three tracks per band, starting off with Joanna Gruesome’s brand of jangle-pop-rock-folk that’s sure to please fans of just about any of the bands reviews above in this post. This is my first introduction to the band and I am hooked badly and need another fix. These three tracks are astonishingly engaging and staggeringly powerful.  Flip things over with Trust Fund and while the genre mixture stays somewhat similar, the flavor and the drive changes up a little bit.  It’s a great intro to the band for those who are not familiar with them and it is safe to say that if you liked Joanna Gruesome, you’re gonna love this!  Flawless split EP from start to finish.  (4.9 out of 5)

Throwing Muses – Purgatory / Paradise – HHBTM – LP

One of the most influential groups returns with a double LP (the CD came out in 2013 and the vinyl is brand spankin’ new!) and they pack a punch as you might expect. Everything about this album is powerful, beautiful and even haunting at times.  The magic is unmatchable.  Despite the absence of some of the founding members, nothing is lost here.  And the vocals are to die for. Seriously!  This is well worth having on either CD or vinyl – as long as you get a copy!  (5 out of 5)


Joanna Gruesome at the girls are

It’s been a year since the release of Joanna Gruesome’s debut full length, Weird Sister, and the impression it left remains unfading. While critically praised from both sides of the Atlantic, it’s perhaps one of the most unsung records of recent times; reflecting the age of its creators, its glorious and abrasive petulance only heightens with age. It’s an album that has proved indelible, uncovering hidden depths with every listen, rather than revealing itself to be hollow at the core, like many albums that prevail upon first impressions.

This 12” split with Trust Fund ison first inspection, fast paced and melodically-driven. Opener ‘Jerome (Liar)’ recalls the glory days of C86 in its melodic discordance and a chorus that is indie pop perfection. Elsewhere, ‘Coffee Implosion’ and ‘Satan’ are snippets of the band at their most hushed and introspective; the latter being a comparatively stripped down and languid reworking of one of the more contemplative moments on Weird Sister.

For all their likeness to the “shambling” sounds of yesteryear, it’s frustrating to read misguided critics dismissing Joanna Gruesome as 90s revivalists, just as much as it is to see overt pigeonholing of singer Alanna: comparisons with female front-women of yore are plentiful – fromBelinda Butcher to The Breeders – while they are no doubt merely complimentary, it would be fairer to say that Alanna has her own respective qualities. Here, she sounds more confident vocally, veering from soft refrains to sporadic clamour, and the band stick to their accomplished formula of melding genres and sub genres to triumphant effect. Ultimately, if this is just a snapshot of what else Gruesome has to offer, then a full-length follow-up could not come sooner enough.


Joanna Gruesome at NME

Reeks Of Effort describes itself as ”a DIY label sticking it to the squares”. Its latest release, a split 12” between proto-indie foursome Joanna Gruesome and no-fi Bristol musician Trust Fund, is full of two fingers up abandon. Joanna Gruesome lead with the brittle and infectious ‘Jerome (Liar)’ – which sounds like The Wedding Present hiring MBV’s Bilinda Butcher to front a cover of The Breeder’s ‘Doe’ – alongside a slicker take on ‘Satan’ from last year’s ‘Weird Sister’ debut and the delectably shouty ‘Coffee Implosion’. But Trust Fund, aka Ellis Jones, is the real revelation, merging Sufjan Stevens’ saccharine alt.folk with Elliott Smith’s melancholy and bursts of quivery indie-pop like Palma Violets doing the ice bucket challenge.


Joanna Gruesome at SeeSound

An excellent double hander from whippersnappers Trust Fund and slightly older whippersnappers Joanna Gruesome that I can whole-heartedly recommend.

There’s a melodic trio of tracks from JG, Jerome (Liar) is almost Go-Go’s, seemingly upbeat and a perfectly brief piece of indie pop.
J&MC feedback accompanied slow-burn Satan could have been written by Malory Knox (the character not the band), morphine slow violence seethes behind it’s tuneful surface. Finally, after another squal of feedback, right chiming Television guitar meets Primitives pop on Coffee, a standout from last Indie Tracks festival set.

The archly named trust fund are giving better value in the minutes department and the more upbeat selection makes a welcome counterpoint to Gruesome’s set. Trust Fund are from Bristol, sound like a “collective”
and make dreamy Indie Pop with a brain. Sounding a bit like a reined in Broken Social Scene but with a more joyful harmony vocal approach that is a little 60’s… and a little stoned. The songs are gentle (rather than weak) – the pace is fastest on Scared but even then it’s bubblegum aggression, Jonathan Richman jitters. They float away finally on No Pressure, a Twin Peaks small town reverie that has the confidence not to rush, No Pressure an indeed appropriate title.

The bands have little in common beyond the Indie Pop pond they swin in but complement each other’s sound very well. Too often split singles have one very obvious “winner”. Here it’s a photo finish for first place.


Joanna Gruesome/Trust Fund at Big Takeover

Now gaining momentum after the success of their debut album, Cardiff, Wales-based Joanna Gruesome return with three new songs backed by some friends from Brighton, Trust Fund.

“Jerome (Liar)” opens the Gruesome side with a punch. Aberrantly noisy within a spunky melodicism, it’s a quick bit of punk to get things rolling. An alternate version of “Satan (Desire Edition),” from 2013’s Weird Sister follows, with the epic, Stereolab-ish “Coffee Implosion” finishing the side.

Trust Fund’s songs offer a perfect compliment to their friends’ songs with a tasteful blend of pop and distortion. “Reading the Wrappers” begins quietly and builds to a noisier finish without losing any fluidity, while “Scared” delivers some energetic art pop. “No Pressure” finishes the side with quiet, emotional honesty fit for the Chris Isaak contingent.

Though a quick release, it is significant for both continuing Joanna Gruesome’s sonic explorations and introducing us in the States to Trust Fund. It’s a good way to keep your turntable warm this winter.