Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Joanna Gruesome - Peanut Butter
I do love peanut butter. I'm also quite fond of Peanut Butter, the second LP from Welsh band Joanna Gruesome. And with its release, we finally, we have answers for the pressing questions of the day: Are JG still a good pop band? Are they still adept noisemakers? Are they having a sophomore slump? Is Joanna still Gruesome? The answers, for those keeping score, are "yes", "yes", "no", and "what?"
Joanna Gruesome's reputation is built on their fiery blend of punky noise pop, spiky post-punk and syrupy pop music, often all in the same track. And as it worked so well before, we were happy to see that the band found no reason to abandon their core competency. If one wants to track changes, one might note that the songs are a bit tighter and more economical, and perhaps each element is punched up a bit. The latter aspect, with the pop sweeter and the noise, well, noisier, perhaps doesn't seem like the most obvious path as it makes the sound a bit rawer. Personally, I think it is genius. Rather than a blend of Joanna Gruesome's noted features -- which would have been the safe choice to offer their fan base -- we have ten songs that jump out of the speakers, get in your face and say "this is what Joanna Gruesome is, love it or leave it". And while you are thinking about that image, they go to the kitchen and drink your last beer.
So yes, this Peanut Butter comes in rich layers of crunchy and creamy styles with pockets of jam. Our serving suggestion is loud with plenty of liquid bread. It may become your go-to after work meal.
Peanut Butter is out now via Fortuna POP! in the UK, Slumberland Records in the US, ant Turnstile Music everywhere else.