‘Peanut Butter’ is twenty five minutes of hyperactive, violently melodic, aggressive, economic pop that’s packed full of tasty hooks and screams from highly acclaimed Cardiff based pop punk ensemble Joanna Gruesome. Recorded in Leeds at Hookworms frontman M.J’s Suburban Homes Studios, the album comes with the following warning: "a marriage of radical politics with peanut butter spread".
9/10 Robin Staff review, 29 April 2015
Yes to this band. They are the reason I can’t tell the difference between noise rock and twee pop, and they are the reason I feel swathes of nostalgia and joy among distortion and thrash. ‘Peanut Butter’ is a pretty good name for one of their records: texturally it can be a total mess, but that’s the delight -- they make it that way for a reason, you know? I’m assuming for the sake of analogy purity that Joanna Gruesome do not eat smooth PB.
After their first record proved they could drive indelible melodies and heart-melting resolutions into broken, dissonant slabs of song, Joanna Gruesome have decided to ease up and do whatever they feel, which, thankfully, is still make fantastic pop songs. But it’s the additives that make ‘Peanut Butter’ a delight -- before the crunching chord sequence and nimble riffs of “I Don’t Wanna Relax” (think of those riffs as mice running into holes), they offer a smattering blastbeat that wouldn’t be out of place on the latest HORSEBASTARD album. From there, the song becomes the kind of masterful exchange of heavy-duty Superchunk indie rock and softer, more plaintive lo-fi scratch. Joanna Gruesome’s music doesn’t so much reference genre as it does rush through it.
Joanna Gruesome are the kind of band who can mix comfort in with discomfort seamlessly, and “Psycick Espionage” is both sides synchronising: it finds time to rip through the no frills punx textbook, and yet Alanna McArdle and Owen Gruesome still find a good spot to harmonise on, quietly and contentedly. ‘Peanut Butter’ is just one of those flipped-switch records, caught in conflict between two types of music I want to listen to.
9/10 Simon Customer review, 26th May 2015
Welsh fuzz-pop exponents Joanna Gruesome follow their Welsh Music Prize winning debut, Weird Sister with another winner, Peanut Butter is a real joy to the ears and definitely of the crunchy not smooth variety, the ten track release could be squeezed onto to a single side of vinyl but packs a lot of punch into it’s brevity. Scuzzy guitars and off-kilter drums combine with infectious melodies and the whole thing careers along at a pace with lead-singer Alanna McArdle’s voice going from cooing to screaming the album is wonderfully dynamic and demands the volume is turned up to the max.
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