joanna

2013’s ‘Weird Sister’ was a defining moment for Joanna Gruesome in terms of endurance – a self conscious, emotionally substantial work of youthful grievance that dispelled the myth of young naivety, it earned them critical reverence while remaining an incredibly vital aspect of the DIY music scene.

Fortunately, not that much has changed since then – everything that prevailed on the band’s debut LP has been heightened here with the help of Hookworms’ MJ on production; both their innate pop sensibility and sporadic abrasion, not to mention their enviable propensity for melody and nuance.

Lyrically, the group explores new, surreal territory, the contents of which are often indistinguishable through Alanna McCardle’s customary yelps. The familiarity of personal tragedy is still present in songs like ‘Separate Bedrooms’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Relax’, however, while opener ‘Last Year’ reaches dizzying heights, its belligerent punk exterior sublimely counteracted by hazy, melodic optimism.

At just over 20 minutes long, ‘Peanut Butter’ is much more concise than its predecessor, its comparative brevity sounding noticeably hurried yet working in their favour. It never wastes time with effusive tricks, with the very occasional lavish guitar solo only there to mock trad masculine rock’s tedious bullshittery.

Devoid of pretence, ‘Peanut Butter’’s sonic impulsiveness is wonderfully chaotic.

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