Delicious poppy alternative rock songs from this Scottish outfit, combining simplistic lyrics with a soft harmonic vocal backdrop, and lots of atmosphere and space making sonic devices like tambourines and hand claps. It's emotionally open and draws, delightfully, on alternative 90s indie and 60s girl groups.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 30 November 2017
The Just Joans are kind of like the Krankies set to indie-pop. They peddle sweet melodies that make the BMX Bandits sound like Slayer and sing on top of them with Scottish accents as thick as a porridge on a winter's morning. But if their winsomeness is sometimes set to 'grate' then their saving grace is a clutch of lovely songs that recall the timeless miniature pop of the likes of the Magnetic Fields. The standout is 'Steal the Keys (1996 Tears)' a future indie-pop classic in which it occurs to me that the Scottish pronunciation of 'six' sounds a little like 'sex' making the closing chorus contains sound like '1990's sex tears' which pretty much sums up my '90s. It's not an anomaly though - there are other treasures here - 'A Matter of Time' in particular is near perfect electronic indie with a chorus so catchy that I've just emerged from the clinic for treatment.
I love their wee Scottish voices but only on the good material. See, there's stuff here that also annoys - 'I Only Smoke When I Drink' could be an outtake from 1981's 'It's Fan-Dabi-Dozi!' opus. Lyrics are generally about love gone wrong and getting older. Basically my life. Still, too saccharine sweet at times but the good bits are ace.
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