31 minutes. That’s the cumulative time it takes to listen to Spread Joy’s self-titled debut (2021) and their follow-up II, which is out now through Feel It Records. 31 minutes may seem barely enough to play a full live show. But Spread Joy (Chicago) won’t need much more to convince you of their aptitude in playing tight and exciting no wave punk. Like on Spread Joy’s debut, the angular guitar work and the sweet bass riffs are again in perfect synergy, and the vocal chords of Briana Hernandez are a great fit to that sound- Hernandez effortlessly switches between sounding edgy, suspenseful, dangerous, pissed off and sweet on II.
II is a varied, and at time almost hypnotic record. It starts at a blistering pace with Ow and Spa Schedule, before moving into pop territory with the major hit Repetition. Ich Sehe Dich is also quite poppy, almost like a throwback to the B-52’s. My current favorite is Chatter, where Hernandez talksings and shrieks over a sweet repetitive guitar riff. Cool stuff, really!