The Smell was the spot Friday night for the LA debut of punk darlings Joanna Gruesome. A precursor to the band's spot at this weekend's FYF Fest, Joanna Gruesome launched into a riotous set at downtown LA's dingy haven for the offbeat and adventurous that never let up.
The kids in Joanna Gruesome (all cheekily christened with the Gruesome surname) won me over with their raw, gritty power and knack for blending dreamy vocals with hardcore thrashing; it's twisted and demented music in all the right ways.
On stage, the Cardiff five-piece emanates a frenzied and contagious energy that bled over into the audience which, while mesmerizing to watch, also caused a bit of a problem during their set.
Vocalist Alanna McArdle asked the rowdy audience to go easy on the moshing early on, having to resort to standing in the crowd towards the end of the show when a few fans didn't honor her request to "be nice to each other." I know some were a little upset by this but I had nothing but admiration. It takes a great deal of nerve to speak out against something, even more so I imagine when you're speaking out against some of the very fans who are at your own show.
I really hope to see more of Joanna Gruesome in the future. The band clearly has a great deal of talent and a whole lot of guts. Joanna Gruesome's debut album, Weird Sister, was released last year and is available on Slumberland Records in the US. Upcoming tour dates are available on
page. Be sure to follow the band on
for updates from the road.