Peanut Butter is Joanna Gruesome’s second full length and follow up to Weird Sister, which was on my “Top Ten Best Albums of 2014” list. What got me hooked on this band was their diabolical blend of upbeat, jangly, indie-rock-meets-punky-noise gaze. The music is fun, ferocious, and the soundtrack to slashing your principal’s tires and not missing a lick of your ice cream. I also had the opportunity of seeing the band live with Perfect Pussy, and their live show was just as rambunctious as the record.
Like it’s predecessor, the majority of songs gorge themselves on sickly-sweet, breezy, pop-syrup until their stomachs churn, projectile vomiting discordant and raucous Skittle-colored barf; tracks like “Last Year”, ‘There Is No Function Stacy” and “Jerome (Liar)” tend to follow this formula, and are formidable pop mutants, but on the whole Peanut Butter seems to be lighter on the emesis and heavier on the sugar content. There are plenty of other great songs on here like “Crayon” and the boisterous “Psykick Espionage”, but in the saccharine bag of Halloween candy that is indie-pop, these guys could be sabotaging our candy apples a bit more—where we once got a mouth-thrashing of razor blades, we’re getting a few staples in the gums.
Peanut Butter definitely has all the elements of what makes Joanna so Gruesome, but it comes off a little too safe and doesn’t depart much from their powerful debut. In their defense, if I heard this album first, I think I would have liked it a lot better; but since it is so similar to their first, I can’t stop comparing it. As far as sophomore releases go, Peanut Butter is a good album. I just hope they take greater risks and are less restrictive in the next one. Joanna Gruesome is one of the best bands around right now, and I highly recommend that you give them a listen and see them when they come to your town. For fans of the Swirlies, Starlight Conspiracy, and Ringo Deathstarr.
Rating: 4.75 out of 6 Doves While in the midst of sniffing his favorite Vanity 3 glove, Prince heard something that he thought he might like. Over the sound of wind chimes, Tibetan prayer bells, girls orgasming, and peacocks; this record was playing and it tickled him.