The bio for Joanna Gruesome’s debut album Weird Sister name-drops the usual influences you’d expect from a Slumberland band: C86 Riot Grrrl My Bloody Valentine Swirlies. But it also lists metalcore giants Converge. It’s an interesting idea but thankfully it doesn’t have that much weight to it.
They pay homage to Converge in the final act of “Sugarcrush” where Joanna Gruesome tears everything apart with a breakdown that isn’t out of place just weird. As the title suggests there’s plenty of that to be found.
This Cardiff five-piece isn’t about consistency but that’s part of what makes Weird Sister fresh. They blend shoegaze noise and scrappy DIY punk and then try unabashed pop-punk on “Lemonade Grrl.” It might not work the way they hoped but hey like the rest of the album it’s a lot of fun.
Their lyrical content is also a bit unfocused taking personal stances on important issues like mental illness and homophobia then throwing in silly fantasies about skipping school and zombie attacks. That said a line like “You want me so much you can’t breathe / I dream of pulling out your teeth!” is poetry at its best.