Chicago-based Joy Missile do more than just throw caution to the wind; instead, they blast it into the atmosphere, stitching together an unlikely, yet seamless flow of blues, hard rock, funk, reggae, and ska without fear or any hesitation. Connecting puzzle pieces of shapes that don’t match should be a recipe for disaster but Joy Missile were able to find the rocket fuel to make it work.
The bluesy Janis Joplin stomp of O’Mara’s singing laid the foundation for “These Are the Things” and the title track, creating a scorchingly seductive canvas from which guitarists Jon Raleigh and Sean Black could paint the late-evening atmosphere with bruised riffs. On “Biometric Girl,” Colleen O’Mara channels Gwen Stefani’s high-pitched geek soul as her bandmates strut playfully with a reggae and ska backbeat. The track could also be compared to Danny Elfman’s pioneering new wave act, the seriously underrated KROQ icons Oingo Boingo, as well in how it disguises twisted and disturbing lyrics about a misdiagnosed mental patient (“I’m not out of my mind/ It’s my pills”) with deceptively upbeat pop hooks.
Unlike many of today’s indie rockers, Joy Missile are actually musically accomplished, skilled personnel with seriously wicked chops. Dave Bills’ hyperactive keyboards trigger “Leave Right Now,” adding a sweet undertow to the driving, distorted guitars of his bandmates. There is a goosebump-raising moment in “Biometric Girl” wherein the group suddenly builds up speed and launches into space. Somebody tell WALL-E that he has company on the way.
Joy Missile: www.joymissile.com