Review by SdM
Miss June have released one of the stand-out albums of 2019. ‘Bad Luck Party’ spits and rocks with passion and hubris as much as it sparkles with energy excitement and unbridled brio. There’s depth and scope within its ten tracks – compare the barbed knock-about fun of ‘Two Hits’ to the dark and foreboding ‘Double Negative’ to get a measure of Miss June. Most of all however ‘Bad Luck Party’ simmers with pointed loathing. Lead singer Annabelle, freed from guitar duties during tonight’s gig, moved around the stage with the quick movements of a hunting feline. Jumping from atop the bass drum she was clawing and pulling at her own t-shirt as if to try to burn off excess energy. Slurring her words through pent up laughter, she explained, “for any of you that are yet to listen to the album, most of it is about people that piss us off, to be honest.”
The “quintessential” song regarding errant interpersonal relationships is, according to Annabelle, ‘Please Waste My Time’. A guitar blast, a drum beat and an elongated, “Fuuuuuck!” introduce a fast and frenetic blast of free spirited flipping-the-bird aural assault. Amid the quick-fire heaviness and the rapid changes of drumbeat the release of anger was almost palpable. It was nonetheless steeped in humour and a keen eyed savvy intellect. ‘Scorpion’ continues in the same vein but gives a knowing nod to the prime of 70’s rock sounding like early Blondie before the mega-hits and middle-age. Shades of the The Banshees and The Cure play against a driving post-punk backdrop as ‘Best Girl’ saunters and burbles with attitude and malice. The viciously slick ‘Enemies’ lit the touch paper and powered along like a missile. Annabelle sang with veiled anger, staring into the audience, “Your enemy’s enemies are not your friend!”
The dynamic ‘Orchid’ and the upbeat ‘Twitch’ add contrast and colour. Annabelle’s voice is redolent with angst and pain against the vibrant soaring guitars, and free and exuberant amid the driving rhythm, respectively. The fast glam-stomp of ‘Matriarchy’ brings out the humour and playfulness – Annabelle is once again freed from her guitar and runs about wildly gesticulating to her bandmates and the audience. A slightly extended version of ‘Polio’ closes the set. The bass guitar and drums thumped with flat-out urgency and zeal while Annabelle did her best Rage Against The Machine sneering angered vocal. It was during the repeated line, “it always falls through the cracks”, the band were at their most focused and forceful combining the passion of Patti Smith to the rawness of Iggy Pop and the Stooges. The short-ish set of just over 40 minutes stunned the assembled crowd. Miss June hit the ground running and between the fun banter – and the trials of a broken guitar string – reminded you just why you go to hear live music. It was quite simply a gauntlet throwing moment that said, “follow that!”. I doubt that many could.