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The Just Joans

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of The Just Joans (Fika)

By • Jan 5th, 2020 • Category: Album review

Referencing James Hogg’s classic tome in the title (look it up you unwashed hordes) this latest album from the Joans is more sublime heartache with many twists of black humour.

Twelve tracks of new material, starting with perennial “staying in” song ‘Hey Ho, Let’s Not Go’ with David Pope singing in typical nasal style “I’d rather get a takeaway” while sister Katie chimes in with information about the good old days when “each weekend was like a battleground”, truly an anthem for the canna be arsed…”

Boosted by other players (Chris on guitar, Fraser on bass and Jason on drums, with a couple of guests on several tracks) we get Art School envy (‘Who Does Susan Think She Is?’), dragging hometown upstarts back to the dark streets of Lanarkshire and the petty rivalry, casual violence and substance abuse which is rife there (BM wouldn’t know about all that…).

‘Wee Guys’ has a great indie riff (a cousin of ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’) – “don’t even have stubble”, but someone ends up with a punctured lung… oh dear… t’was ever thus…

More introspective thoughts on ‘Dear Diary…’, Katie intoning some personal thoughts with some lovely string backing… synthpop backed ‘My Undying Love for You Is Beginning To Die’ is another typical David Pope vocal… the love has soured, and memories are bitter… jet black humour is only a beat or two away… with shades of The Smiths and Arab Strap, they are in good company…

And the rest of the record goes on in a similar fashion, ‘The One I loathe The least’, Katie mixing Kirsty McColl-esque sarcasm, equating doomed love with closed down shops, t’was again ever thus…

‘Another Doomed Relationship’ gets a bit more electronic, like Bronksi Beat vs Pet Shop Boys with a heavier, but excellent, dose of misery…

Last track ‘Like Yesterday Again’ is another maudlin dirge…(!) in a good way, recalling ‘Every Day is like Sunday’ by the Moz.

Here’s hoping that The Just Joans will get out more in 2020!

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