Youngstrr Joey ‘Grilled Wiig’ – ALBUM REVIEW

This Youngstrr Joey article was written by Fraisia Dunn, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Michael Liggins.

Described as “passive aggressive yodelling” on his Facebook page, the disorienting sound of Youngstrr Joey definitely fits in with the Glasgow lo-fi academy he has been brutally born into. ‘Grilled Wiig’ is a traumatic but edifying experience coming in at under 20 minutes, nine songs of pain and bewilderment are squeaked out in record time.

The first track ‘Afraid’ breaks in with a high-pitched detuned wave of arpeggios. Gentle singing on the subject of fear floats over before it all breaks down into a worrying cavalcade of clown like rising and falling scales, then it is over. The shoe-gaze of ‘Sorry’ begins quickly and Joey tells of his paranoid thoughts and fears that are brain meltingly obvious. There are some lovely lyrics “I’ve got mine and you’ve got yours, I think our backs will be okay.” A slide whistle shyly joins in, the non-committal nature of these two bars reflect a fear to fully adhere to any one style.

Listening to Antique Pony too Muchcrashes in with surprising confidence, the guitar sounding like warped punk surf-rock. As the scales are ridden up and down, strange moans and choral singing emerge from the gloom. The song is unhinged, barely hanging together as it builds to a screaming guitar outro before the drum machine is turned off and it all goes away.

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‘Posture’ is another disorienting song of worry and shame with barely audible vocals. “Shoulders won’t go back,” laments Joey. The rhythm of ‘My Brain is Ever Melting’ is reminiscent of early Pavement. The main theme about brains melting and feeling good is one that most people who enjoy this record will find easy to relate to.

‘Yr Hallway’ starts with pleasingly scratchy guitar. The audible lyrics with their clear rhythm and sense of attitude suggest a glam rock feel. But soon the stereo cuts out, the recording erodes and we are left with confusing silence. ‘DNT Change’ sounds both surfy and melodic, despite some sketchy free form mistakes there is a lilting beauty here. Even the line “Don’t change the way you are” is a healthy sentiment. Perhaps Joey will start extolling the virtues of kale soon.

‘Emma’ sounds like a cartoonish underwater amateur homage to the Velvet Underground’s ‘Stephanie Says’. A weirdly squeaky voice joins in with Joey,Emma says she’s not sure if she knows every little thing about herself.” A charming ditty.

The last track ‘Crutches’ starts with the pleasing alliteration, “crutches at clutches.” A simple grunge guitar line underpins the fractured singing as this poor record draws its last breath.

‘Grilled Wiig’ is brave, murky, sad, depressing and unapologetic. If you want to hear an expression of confusion, apathy, pain and awkwardness then give it a spin. You won’t be disappointed.

‘Grilled Wiig’ is out now on Toad Records.