Reeks of Effort have had a chimerical year when it comes to being a label. The ‘Trust Fund/Joanna Gruesome’ 12” split is now another landmark chapter in the labels story and showcases a wholly kooky, hook laden clutch of songs that basks in lashings of the ‘devotional pop’ sound.
Trust Fund has been no stranger to finding tape/vinyl space on a Reeks of Effort release, with Sick Of Hits Vol.2 showing Ellis Jones’ tender and somewhat emotional bruising sides to his songwriting persona. Here, though, on the new split, we see a much more charismatic, magnetic and boyish charm exuded from the music. ‘Reading The Wrappers‘ opening chimes of clean and pure guitar lines hint to the idea that you’re about to go on an ever buoyant and excitable journey, with the notation fully confirmed when the entire band kick in: all wrapped up in thick layers of fuzz and wooden and clattery drums sounds that make you bob up and down in some preteen, unselfconscious manner.
The bubblegum aesthetic is further exonerated on ‘Scared’, a song full of adventure and refreshing soundscapes despite the theme focusing on anxiety and deep-set uncertainty. The beguiling nature of the tune is partway down to the sing-along chorus that explodes out in an unrestrained manner: full of hooks and ear worms that will have you shouting the chorus around the house for days on end after your first listen. Hearing Trust Fund like this is a wholly bracing experience compared to the emotional ride we were given on the Sick Of Hits Vol 2 tape, and even when ‘No Pressure’ swims through its halfway point in a dream-like pensive state, you’re still left feeling heady and with an intrinsic smile painted across your face.
The smile is carried on when your ears hear the euphony of the splits lead single, Joanna Gruesome’s ‘Jerome’. The Television–esque dry clatter of guitar is certainly endearing, as the voice of Alanna McArdle – whose airy and somewhat phosphorescent vocals have been lent to many other releases this year (Menace Beach for one) – floats along accordingly on top of the instrumentation. It’s an expeditious thrash that lends itself nicely as a segue into the much more surly, ‘Satan’: starting off with a backline of mincing feedback before starting its trudge through a contorted and fuzzed Broken Social Scene type personality.
It all ends merrily, though, when the split closes on the charmingly titled, ‘Coffee Implosion’: a song full of glitter that mixes the post-punk structure Joanna Gruesome have developed throughout most of their discography. A convivial listen from start to finish whilst still showing the tender sides that each band has in their own measure, means that the ‘Trust Fund/Joanna Gruesome’ split will be something keeping your turntable warm as we head on into the more cold and harsh winter months.