CMJ 2013 is in full swing at various music venues here in NYC and every band performing are trying to get noticed by industry people and music lovers. Some will create a buzz and be remembered while others will get overlooked and lost in the shuffle. The challenge a CMJ badge holder faces is which band to see and where. Every year there is a band or two that leaves their mark and goes on to gain more popularity, thus leading to playing in bigger venues to larger crowds (Savages anyone?) So the question is, who is it this year?
It was a packed downstairs room at Pianos for this five piece Welsh band. They had created a buzz as a band to see at CMJ and after hearing their set I can definitely see why. Singer Alanna Gruesome may look sweet and innocent up on the stage, but once the songs began she was nothing of the sort. She switched vocal ranges throughout each song, going from a sweet, poppy style to aggressive shouting. Although Alanna displayed the most relaxed stage presence of the band, she let her passion shine in her vocal abilities.
The drummer, sporting a vintage Black Sabbath shirt, pounded on the drums as if he was Bill Ward's protege. The two guitar sounds were heavily drenched with the help of a big muff pedal, providing a thick, warm, fuzzy sound to the loud and fast tempo of the songs. The beginning of one song began with a slow and spooky-ish bassline before the rest of the band kicked in with a steady groove, allowing us to get lost in the notes filling up the room.
Their six song set concluded with the guitarists jumping into the crowd while playing and it seemed to have caught many by surprise. They jammed amongst the fans for a short time before going back on stage and ending their set to a full room of people clapping enthusiastically.
They will be playing a few more shows during the rest of CMJ and you can check out those dates at Zumic's Joanna Gruesome artist page.