Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter

Joanna Gruesome - Peanut Butter (2015)

Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter (2015)

It’s late spring. It’s the time of year where summer is right around the corner and if you’re like me, you just want to hear some feel-good music to go along with your daily grind. Maybe you also want that feel-good music to have some edge to it. Perhaps you want it to pack a punch, or some unexpected gut checks to mix it up. If so, then Joanna Gruesome‘s newest full length, Peanut Butter, is the thing to strike your fancy.

This album is as dichotomous as the band’s name is cheeky: one part sugar in your tea, one part stinging lemon bite. The songs have sweet pop melodies reminiscent of bands like The Rentals and The Anniversary and the female/male harmony parts are really quite beautiful. The songs also have tough chord progressions and the pure rawness of an 80’s punk band such as The Avengers. It’s punk rock meets noise pop at its finest and most refreshing.

The Joanna Guesome five-piece hails from Cardiff, Wales and they are led by the soft-harmony singing/super-charged screaming of front woman Alanna “Gruesome.” The album opener, “Last Year” kicks off with some mean sounding power chords with vocals that sound like they’re being blasted through a megaphone and then it smooths out with soft summer breezes of melodious indie charm. Each song pretty much goes like that. “I Don’t Wanna Relax” and “Psykick Espionage” are album highlights. “Honestly Do Yr Worst” has one of the catchier melodies that will drift on through your head long after the music has stopped.

At first listen, Peanut Butter jolted me out of the doldrums of my morning commute with its delivery of sharp contrasts. But the more I listened to it, the more it made sense, and the more I began to see the brilliance in how it flowed. Now don’t get me wrong, this album does present its contrasts rather abruptly, at times but the record never feels disjointed. In fact, it’s artfully arranged and once you get the hang of its direction, you’ll prime your first to pump to the punk parts before you drift off on the harmonic breeze. Think of this album like a nice, frothy cocktail. You’ve got to balance the sweet with the tart just right if you want to sneak in those extra few shots.

And who doesn’t?

Peanut Butter Tracklist:

01 Last Year
02 Jamie (Luvver)
03 Honestly Do Yr Worst
04 There is No Function Stacy
05 Crayon
06 I Don’t Wanna Relax
07 Jerome (Liar)
08 Separate Bedrooms
09 Psykick Espionage
10 Hey! I Wanna Be Yr Best Friend

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