These Croatians love ‘90s underground noise rock.
2011, Whosbrain Records
6.1 / 10.0
“Hey man, take another drink / Hey man, take another sip”, screams Joe 4’s lead singer on “Postman” off their Enola Gay EP. What am I sipping? Well, it must be the kool aid because Enola Gay is pretty sick. The EP’s five singles are a brash, angry storm cloud of guitars and drums played with brutal intensity complemented by drill sergeant style vocals. Why’s the guy from Joe 4 yelling at me? I don’t know, but I do know I don’t want to piss him off. On opening song, “Pigman”, he bashes in a guy’s face in a jealous rage. This album ain’t friendly, and that’s a good thing.
Joe 4 is a Croatian rock band that have been heavily influenced by ‘90s underground noise rock (did they just find an old cassette tape or something?) with elements of the Henry Rollins Band, Primus, early Tool and Prong (don’t ‘snap your neck’ trying to remember them). Touting their lyrics as concisely worded haiku poetry, I can say that they’re screamed in the same awkward fashion that haikus are read aloud. Joe 4’s bread and butter are their aggressive arrangements that often spiral into exciting climaxes. Joe 4 also toy with structure as on the low tempo buildup in “Postman” that leads to a raging second half. Then, on “Johnny” you think you’re getting a breath of fresh air near the 2:00 minute mark, but it’s merely Joe 4 planning their next attack. But instead of cowering in fear, you’ll find yourself awaiting the next beat-down. Listeners that enjoy their metal with more melody will likely balk at Enola Gay, but its intensity is entertaining enough to recommend checking out.
Purchase: Joe 4 – Enola Gay EP