Monday, December 6, 2010


JJ72 doesn't exist anymore, but when they did... they stole my heart. I always heard them as the delightful mixture of Placebo, Muse, Smashing Pumpkins and Joy Division. I loved the dynamics of Mark Greaney's voice so much that I wanted to crawl inside his skin and wear it as my own. I also thought he was the hottest thing on earth with weird teeth and Ian Curtis' face (only outdone by his drummer who looked even more like Ian Curtis than Ian Curtis). Oh, and they covered Pet Shop Boys... so, you know, fate and shit.

The first time I heard The Joy Formidable I told friends how much they reminded me of JJ72, and most people looked at me puzzled, except for my friend Johnny (a fellow Irishman just like JJ72). When I asked Johnny if he'd heard of TJF he said no. When I told him to check them out because they reminded me of JJ72, he said "Oh wait! I saw them play and said to my friends that they sounded like a female fronted JJ72."

I wish I had lots and lots of money so i could find my favorite bands from years ago that are no longer together and ask them politely to regroup and play a show for me and my friends and people who love them. JJ72 would probably headline.

Here are my favorite JJ72 songs. Please listen to them LOUDLY and enjoy.

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Here are a bunch of their videos:

Here are my reasons for picking each song:

"Formulae" - If you combined all the best parts of JJ72 songs into one track, this would be the one. Mark's angelic voice turning into a manic wail mixed with pixies-style song structures basically equals my heaven.

"Serpent Sky" - the bassline in this song is like sex. it's like having the biggest dong and knowing exactly what to do with it.

"I Saw a Prayer" - this track, from JJ72's second album takes things down a notch. more dreamy and romantic. Very Joy Formidable.

"Nameless" - a ballad from their second album. a total win.

"Snow" - I think this was the first JJ72 song I ever heard. I found out about them because they were opening for Muse in Europe so I went to their website and waited for 30 minutes for the video for this song to load so i could watch it. I waited another 30 minutes so i could watch it again. This was in 2000. The web was slow back then. The lyrics are entirely silly but wonderful all at once.

"October Swimmer" - Actually, maybe this was the first JJ72 song I ever heard. The lyrics are as weird as their name and the chorus soars in ways that would make Matt Bellamy totes jealz.

"Bumble Bee" - This song is a total Nirvana jerkoff fest and it's amazing.

"Not Like You" - Cutesy ballad that would be great on a christmas mix tape.

"Improv" - JJ72's most pared down song. shows how great Mark's voice is.

"Oxygen" - this song is HOT. was one of the first songs i'd ever heard by JJ72. i remember seeing the bassist in the video for this song and instantly crushing on her.

"It's a Sin" - obviously Pet Shop Boys are one of the greatest bands of all time and JJ72 agrees and did this awesome cover.

"Algeria" - this song was on the first album and was a perfect little window to what their 2nd album would become. fucking huge and epic and over the motherfucking top. i wish the last line before the chorus was "guide me through the chorus" instead of "guide me through the colors." that's my only complaint about jj72 ever.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Oh my god, I used to love JJ72!! Once I flew from Germany to Manchester to see them. This brings back soo many memories. I gotta find my album ... thank you for reminding me of this brilliant band!! Shame they don't exist any more. :-(