Too Much Joy announce first album in 24 years (listen to new single “Pong”)
Too Much Joy have been making wiseass power-pop/indie rock, off and on, since the late-'80s. Among their accomplishments: being one of the first bands to get a Parental Advisory warning sticker on an album; protesting 2 Live Crew's Florida arrest on indecency charges by covering 2 Live Crew songs in Florida (and then also getting arrested); being one of two college radio acts signed to Warner Brothers to release an album on March 12, 1991 that featured a guest appearance by rapper KRS One (the other was REM); getting sued by Bozo the Clown; and early masters of the "whoa-oh" chorus. They also wrote a bunch of really great songs.
While Too Much Joy been inactive for more than a decade, they never broke up and the members have remained friends (and alive). That's no small feat for a band signed to a major label in the early '90s. While bored in pandemic lockdown, the band began talking about favorite old songs that never got recorded, and trading ideas they'd had for new songs. Setting a goal for themselves, they tried to finish a few, remotely, in time for the July edition of Bandcamp Friday. They did, releasing a three-song EP which you can stream below.
With this sense of accomplishment, Too Much Joy set a new goal: write and record a new album -- their first in 24 years -- and release it by the end of the year. The album is tentatively called Last Century, because "half the songs were written in the literal last century, while the other half were written in what metaphorically feels like it might be humanity's last century." They've just launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund it. You can preorder the album now, and there are a few different levels of donation, from the $10 "Just the Album, Please" package all the way up to the $1000 "Everlasting Life" package.
Before that album they're releasing a new single, "Pong," in which frontman Tim Quirk rattles off a litany of '70s memories. "When I was in third grade in 1972, a classmate had a tabletop Pong game in his house," Tim tells us. "At the time, that was such a wild thing for a family to have, our entire class took a field trip to his house to gawk at the machine. Remembering how awed we all were by what now seems so simplistic triggered a flood of other happy/sad memories from growing up as a '70s kid, then Sandy [Smallens] set some of them to this amazing riff he'd been playing around with (there are like ten other verses we didn't include), and the band turned it into what you hear."
"Sandy told me it was our 'We Didn't Start The Fire,'" Tim adds. "I think that was a compliment." The single's out next week but we've got the premiere of it right now. Watch the visual for "Pong," which throws a few of those '70s memories into a classic game of Pong, below.