Single Review: Joanna Gruesome - "Last Year"

With each new release, Welsh noise-pop quintet Joanna Gruesome approaches a perfect balance of their penchant for charming, twee-core hooks with their potential for unbridled punk abrasion. Their latest single, "Last Year", gives listeners a sneak peek at their upcoming LP, Peanut Butter. On the strength of fiery, distorted chords and blasts of trebly percussion, the track immediately roars to a start. It's as if a large dose of Perfect Pussy's chaotic, avant-punk energy was injected into the opening salvo of Joan Jett's "Reputation".  At around the 50 second marker, the band's heavy wall of distortion dissolves into a vaporous refrain that reminds me of the breezy chorus of Juliana Hatfield's "Nirvana", the eye of the tune's hurricane of gritty grunge riffage. Though "This Year" doesn't have quite as powerful a grip on me as their 2012 single "Sweater", it's still a top-tier cut from a band that produces twee-punk hit after twee-punk hit.