Hailing from the East Bay, DIFFICULT started after guitarist Joan DeToro relocated from Tallahassee, FL for a brief stint as a coordinator for Maximum Rocknroll and to better combat her gender dysphoria as a trans woman. After meeting Megan March (drummer for Berkeley truewave punks Street Eaters) in 2018, the two quickly found a musical chemistry in each other worth cultivating. The duo recruited token male bassist John No (who also plays bass in Street Eaters) in short order. Left with searching for a singer, they went pure punk and pulled a mystery card by bringing in Elle No, an explosive new vocalist who would be fronting her first band ever. Recorded in March’s basement studio, DIFFICULT’s debut demo features four songs written over the turbulent year of 2018, a queer scream amidst an increasingly disturbing national landscape. The songs are personal, angry, relatable, and give voice to the hunger for more.
Driving, fervent guitar lines delivered by primary songwriter DeToro set the tone for DIFFICULT's bold, tough-yet melodic sound. DeToro skillfully creates tense and desperate rhythms that easily break apart into chaotic,charged solos. March’s sharp and dynamic drumming, along with John No’s expressive, intuitive bass playing, offers the refined chemistry of their 10+ year musical partnership. Accompanied by Elle’s No's emotional vocals that evoke life’s despairing moments and regrets, DIFFICULT manages a rigorous trip into surviving the shadows of humanity, while issuing a sound that is both reverent of punk and hardcore’s past and eagerly anticipating the future. The result is a sound that is both danceable and commanding: it’s easy to like DIFFICULT.
FFO: Wipers, Vanilla Poppers, The Brat, The Bags, Slant 6, RIkk Agnew