Following the break-up of her old Sub Pop-signed band Eric’s Trip in 1996, the career of Juno-winner and Polaris Prize-nominee Julie Doiron has taken in over ten albums (via Jagjaguwar and Sub Pop), alongside collaborative releases with Mount Eerie and Okkervill River. This new project finds Julie partnering up with Mike Peters and Jay Schwarzer of Cancer Bats’ rhythm section becoming the ‘Wrong Guys’ alongside fellow Canadian Eamon McGrath.
Julie & The Wrong Guys’ self-titled debut album was released on 8th September 2017 and this gritty garage punk sound had me from the get-go. My mum told me never to lie. So, I won’t. I’ve never encountered the music of Julie and the Wrong Guys nor previous incarnations. So, this is my first time, and many of us remember their first time.
Opening track “Love and leaving” is of a 90s feel with a drum beat of the Seattle era and crunching guitar riffs opening the party. “You wanted What I Wanted” continues in the same vein. Its heavy distorted riffs and, with “Condescending Me”, is so far exceptional. The rhythm, the gritty vibe, the melancholic energy flows straight through the record. “Tracing My Own Lines” adds Julie’s vulnerability in tracks meld with sensitive blues riffs adding a feel of dark beauty to the air.
Confidence in their music shines through and allows their creative flow in “Farther from You” and “Calm Before the Storm”. Loving the inner anguish. Being an inner angst fan, makes this a winner.
We end with “Hope Floats”, a subtle tender touch, Julie’s vocals float hope over delicate minds. The drum beat engulfs her vocals to near tears. A heart-wrenching track with the pulling of the strings by a splendid guitar riff.
This here is the debut album by a band who started playing in 2012 and now have given the world an album of sensitive, dynamic and soulful music. Is Julie Doiron the heiress to the throne of Kim Gordon?
Julie & the Wrong Guys is out now