Cry Club

Melbourne queer bubblegum punk duo Cry Club enter their “villain era” with their electric
sophomore album Spite Will Save Me. The tight 10 tracks further refine their talent for turning
frustrations and anger at social issues into anthemic thrash-alongs — and proving they’re one of
Australia’s most vital, exciting bands.

“There’s this view of anger as not a joyful experience,” says Jono Tooke, one half of Cry Club.
“But you can go to those places where you smash stuff, right? We wanted to take that attitude –
being in a space where you can be an extreme version of yourself – and see how fun that is.”
If Cry Club — consisting of guitarist Tooke (he/him) and vocalist Heather Riley (they/them) —
can be distilled down to one thing (besides their trademark makeup of glittery trails of tears
down their cheeks), it’s their knack for turning unsightly and complicated feelings into addictive,
cathartic pop-punk. Since debuting in 2018 with ‘Walk Away’, a relentless two-and-a-half minute
pop-punk track about enduring Australia’s painful marriage equality plebiscite, Cry Club has
become beloved for pairing a campy theatricality with emotional vulnerability and a punk

Pulling from their respective past lives in math-rock and musical theatre, Tooke and Riley’s
debut album God I’m Such A Mess was released in 2020 to mass acclaim. After being triple j
Unearthed’s most-streamed artist of 2019, the duo’s debut album landed them nominations of
Best Independent Punk Album or EP at the 2021 AIR Awards and for best breakthrough act at
the 2021 Music Victoria Awards, alongside praise from NME, Music Junkee and Pile Rats,
among others.

Writing Spite Will Save Me across Melbourne’s two years of on-and-off again lockdowns, the
two used the chance to escape their surroundings. Working with producer and Kingswood
member Alexander Laksa (Flowerkid, Dallas Woods), the duo were able to geek out about their
influences like Nine Inch Nails, Queens of The Stone Age and Gilla Band, and working out how
to convert noise and post-punk into pop.

“We’d just go really far into fantasy land,” says Riley. “I was like, ‘what if we were playing
stadiums?’ ‘What if we were My Chemical Romance?’ We were letting ourselves dream a little
bit – it was really fun, which is funny because the songs are all so heavy and came out of
frustration. But they also came from a joy of being delusional.”

Lead single ‘People Like Me’ is Cry Club at their most metal yet, as a proto-Rage Against riff
leads into Riley exhuming their need to placate transphobes and prove their humanity by
playing nice. “It’s not my fault you only see me as a threat / ‘Cause you’re so mad that I live
rent-free in your head,” they yell. As both lead single and album opener, it paves the landscape
of Spite Will Save Me, a revenge fantasy of sorts against transphobia, shitty music bros (‘Cry
About It’), questionable romances (‘Bad Taste’) and tokenism (‘I Want More’).