“I am trying to make it through next week.”
Project 651 was a class of Soviet diesel-electric submarines armed with cruise missiles. Designed in the late 1950s to provide the Soviet Navy with a nuclear strike capability against targets along the East Coast of the United States and enemy combatants, the West knew these crafts as the NATO reporting name, Juliett Class.
Nothing’s changed in nearly seven decades. Here we are once again, facing the same old Cold War monsters, the same old duck-and-cover threats, the same old BS. In a prescient move, Brooklyn indie-punk trio Juliett Class unfurls their blistering self-titled debut EP, a powerful feminist statement of existence in this bizarre hellscape.
Vocalist and guitarist Niabi Aquena (Searmanas, Child of Night) formed the band with bassist Joan Sullivan (The Selkies). Sullivan switched drumming duties when Heather Wagner joined, taking the summer of 2021 to finesse their existing songs and collaborate on new material. From there, the group dynamic morphed effortlessly into a raucous explosion of pulsing drums and high-energy guitar.
Bringing in serious Siouxsie vibes mixed with Pixies, Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, and PJ Harvey, Aquena’s frenzied, operatic vocals quaver with fury and determination, particularly with “Next Week”…an anthem for the times. Taking it moment to moment with innumerable Sisyphean challenges and crises? Blare this one loudly. Opening with “Shut Off”, the punk bassline persists through Aquena’s explosions of raw emotion. “Highway Girl” takes things slower in its opening, building to a crescendo of pure 70s expansion and girl-group harmonies. “Ohio” starts off with a line of questioning…and resignation. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego…or this missing mystery person?
A rollicking debut from Juliett Class.
Vinyl release Summer of 2022. Meanwhile, pick up the EP digitally Here
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