The Joos Is Loose: Megajoos' Mega Deuce out Tomorrow; See Them at Springwater [Review]



Excepting Spinal Tap and local proto-metal/stoner-rock duo Megajoos (pronounced like "juice," if you wondered), very few bands could title their second album Mega Deuce and get away with it. The Joos showcase some serious skills, but counter the arrogance that can come with it. Their tunes are driven along by beefy, gnarly bass from riff lord Joosy J. and tight, complex grooves by drummer Wes Mitchell, and they're sprinkled with a few lyrics focused on everyday situations — a formula not too far-removed from perennial faves JEFF the Brotherhood. Joosy grew up on KISS’ theatrical hard rock, and Mitchell spent hours in his basement studying John Bonham and masters of funk like Tower of Power’s David Garibaldi. On Deuce, the pair takes these influences on a blazing half-hour joyride that’s as fun as it is loud.

Sometimes, Megajoos' Ween-y sense of humor comes to the fore, as on tracks like “C20H25N30 (Acid),” about confronting the ‘rents under the influence of LSD, or “Domino’s,” in which they metaphorically marry carnal appetites and those of the regular kind, with a snarl reminiscent of Ghostfinger’s Richie Kirkpatrick. They don’t shy away from heavier topics, as when they discuss relationship boundaries in “Paris Hilton” and “Honey Money,” but there are no lengthy, brooding meditations here — with the longest track clocking in at 3:34 and the grooves often doing most of the talking, the core of the album is feeling and instinct. Whether they get you by singing about something close to home (who hasn’t been the kid in “Always Turn It up Way Too Loud”?) or shaking your rib cage with blasts from Joosy’s Mascis-worthy amp stack, Megajoos are bound to get you bobbing along in recognition.

The gap between the two albums was only six months, but Deuce is thicker, louder and more confident than the first effort — thanks to lots of live dates at home and on the road and upgrades at Screen Door Records, the studio piloted by engineer Justin Kirkland, where the Joos tracked each of their albums in a single day.

“It isn’t super-important to move quickly, but we don’t like to over-complicate stuff,” writes Mitchell in an email. “There is no way we could do the L.A. ‘spend one year on our album’ approach, because by the time the album’s done, we [would be] tired of playing those songs, and probably [wouldn’t perform] them at our top game.” As Mitchell cites, Kirkland's no-bullshit attitude helped move the proceedings along, but Mitchell and Joosy's history of playing together for over a decade plays just as big a part in the tightness of their sound.

Megajoos have been dropping one track a day over at their Bandcamp page, but you can pick up Mega Deuce in its entirety for only $3 at the official release show, tomorrow night at Springwater. They’ve enlisted psych-garage ragers Penicillin Baby, Murfreesboro punks TN Scum, and sludge rockers Young Wolves to kick out some jams as well. Cover is $5, and the show kicks off at 9 p.m.

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