Spread Joy: II [Album Review]

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Spread Joy
Feel It Records [2022]

Chicago’s energetic post punk rockers, Spread Joy have returned with their sophomore release just a year after their excellent Headphone Approved self-titled debut hit our ears. The high energy band once again keeps the adrenaline level up and delivers another short in your face type of album. In fact, II surpasses Spread Joy’s debut runtime of 14 minutes as this album clocks in at 18 minutes. It is sorta laughable (in a good way) but that extra 4 minutes finds the band going down a few different paths on II which showcases more depth to the group.

Some of those new avenues you will hear on II include a few harmonies, some harder punk charges and some patience. From the hard pounding album opener “Ow,” you don’t think you will get much chance to come up for air this round as singer Briana Hernandez lets it all go. We knew Spread Joy had a jam like that in them and it proves that the band is just as good when they put their foot all the way down on the gas. On a song like “Repetition,” you start to hear a real evolvement of the group as the dramatic pauses during the lyrics turns out to be a mind bending pace setter as the song thrives on its driving groove but also wraps up in under 2 minutes. That compact complexity is not something to take for granted and sets Spread Joy apart from others in the genre.

II is a solid album that finds the band pushing some of their own boundaries. The over 3 minute closer, “Language,” finds the group using this bigger canvas to seamlessly combine styles and it works. It maybe even offers a glimmer of what could be next for the band. Spread Joy’s sophomore release keeps the fire they started last year alive and for sure maintains the Chicago group as a band to watch as this year progresses!

“Repetition” / “Ich Sehe Dich” / “Language”

Pylon / Le Tigre / Romeo Void

Spread Joy (2021)

Bandcamp | Feel It Records

Christopher Anthony
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