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Joanna Gruesome - Peanut Butter

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 8 / 6 / 2015

Joanna Gruesome - Peanut Butter
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Energetic but somewhat repetitive noise pop on second album from award-winning Welsh group, Joanna Gruesome

Welsh group Joanna Gruesome's debut album 'Weird Sister' was released in September 2013, and won the Welsh Music Prize. It also received critical praise from magazines like 'Pitchfork','This is Fake DIY', 'Rough Trade' and 'NME'. Like their debut album, this new outing, 'Peanut Butter', was recorded by MJ from Hookworms. They recently played the 6Music Festival in Newcastle, and have played sessions for both Lauren Laverne on 6Music and for Huw Stephens on Radio One. They are well-known in for their energetic live shows, as well as their forthright feminist and anti-homophobic views. The noisepop five-piece's music is crammed full of juicy pop melodies. Most of the short, twenty five minutes worth of tracks are laced with a cacophonous fuzzy jangle that draws them both Riot Grrrl and C86 comparisions as well to the art rock of The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine. Whilst retaining their traditionally characteristic gloomy song titles ('Graveyard' and Satan', for example) 'Peanut Butter' is slightly more mischievous than its predecessor and takes itself a little less seriously. Although just as hard hitting and heavy as the first, it has a few lighter moments as well. Some may find, with the tracks being so short, that they melt into one in places. Highlights, however, include the curiously melodic starting number 'Last Year', which is drenched in feedbacked guitars and brings lead singer Alana McArdle’s distinctive, soft and easy vocals to the fore; the frenzied 'I Don’t Wanna Relax' which lasts just two minutes, and I Wanna Be Yr Best Friend' which shows the other side of the Gruesome fence and life on the calmer side. All in all it is a good follow up to 'Weird Sister'. My only criticisms would be that sometimes it is hard to decipher McArdle's vocals over the noise and fuzz and some of the tracks do seem a little samey, but I liked this a lot. It is short but sweet.

Track Listing:-
1 Last Year
2 Jamie (Luvver)
3 Honestly Do Yr Worst
4 There Is No Function Stacy
5 Crayon
6 I Don't Wanna Relax
7 Jerome (Liar)
8 Separate Bedrooms
9 Psykick Espionage
10 Hey! I Wanna Be Yr Best Friend

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