A hot new guitar band from the British Isles? There's something you don't hear every day, or every year. It's been a chilly minute since the U.K. has given up anything like these indie Welsh kids from Cardiff, barely out of their teens. Yet they plug in and play their hearts out on their debut album, with twin-guitar fuzz-pop gems like "Secret Surprise" and "Wussy Void." Joanna Gruesome honor the cardigans-and-beer tradition – onstage they turn Galaxie 500's "Tugboat" into a psychedelic slow jam. But despite the cheeky gag of their band name, they're deceptively tough stuff. Alanna McArdle coos like she can't decide whether to toss you off the balcony or order you room service.
From The Archives Issue 1196: November 21, 2013