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Big Joanie - Back Home (Album Review)

Wednesday, 09 November 2022 Written by Rebecca Llewellyn

Photo: Ajamu X

Big Joanie are well on their way to being big news. The London-based feminist-punk trio have already notched touring slots with IDLES and Bikini Kill, showing significant promise both in the UK and Stateside. Now striding forward with their second LP ‘Back Home’ they serve up a superb set of biting punk tracks with a few worthwhile surprises thrown in for good measure.

On one side, think Riot Grrrl meets 1960s soul swagger as Big Joanie blend powerful vocals with the jagged guitars and a rasping snare. On the other, ‘Back Home’ has allowed Big Joanie to experiment. The band toy with elements of folk on opener Cactus Tree, and  Britpop on Your Words, with its underlying synths and muted vocal cues. 

To add to the magic, Big Joanie manifest a dreamy, woozy style on the harmonious In My Arms, a track that wraps its arms around the listener like a warm embrace.

Its lace to leather aspect is a standout moment on the album, abrasive yet mesmerising while set pointedly against their punk origins. “One day, I'll make the great escape and send another you away, but now I dream of you in my arms,” they sing.

Lyrically, ‘Back Home’ centres around the notion of being home in both a physical and mental sense. Lead vocalist Stephanie Phillips charges through anthems that reverberate anger and contentment in equal shares, majestically pairing punk to poetry and emotion to empowerment. On Count to 10, a sweetness pierces through: “I can bring you love that you'll never forget. Just hold me close and count to 10.” 

While it is clear from the confidence in the creative developments of their second release that Big Joanie are not looking to slow down anytime soon, it is inspiring to see the band’s DIY roots still fuelling them. We can only wait and see how far they’ll go.

Big Joanie Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri January 06 2023 - BRISTOL Bristol Strange Brew
Sun January 08 2023 - SOUTHAMPTON Joiners
Tue January 10 2023 - OXFORD Bullingdon
Wed January 11 2023 - LONDON Garage
Thu January 12 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Hare And Hounds
Fri January 13 2023 - LEEDS Belgrave Music Hall
Sat January 14 2023 - GLASGOW Mono - Kings Court
Sun January 15 2023 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny
Tue January 17 2023 - MANCHESTER Deaf Institute

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