This new album, ‘Optimal Lifestyles’, hits the shelves on 1st March via Big Scary Monsters (UK) and Dine Alone Records (US/Canada).
Pkew Pkew Pkew also announces a run of UK tour dates for May 2019 supporting hotly-tipped LA punks du jour Spanish Love Songs, so it’s fair to say they mean business and are keeping themselves busy which excites me.
While Pkew Pkew Pkew’s 2016 self-titled debut told tales about the late-20s punk life, ‘Optimal Lifestyles’ reflects on the band’s previous fun-loving, hard-partying behaviour with clarity and precision. Pkew writes songs that are plot-driven stories like The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, who actually went to Toronto to workshop songs with the band for this record.
The first single ‘I Don’t Matter At All’. sees Warne’s songwriting, pulling inspiration from The Hold Steady, and showing influences of bands like The Strokes and Japandroids. that’s where the band are today Warne sings. “It’s fun to live like an idiot, but it’s probably bad, also. We’re all constantly wondering if we’ve ruined our lives forever or not, being in a band.”
Song-by-song, ‘Optimal Lifestyles’ lays out the sort of living Warne speaks of, but its not shoegazing or apologetic for being self-indulgent or self-destruction. It’s an acceptance of the life in Toronto, rent increases and unfeeling gentrification (much like London or New York I guess, it’s a global thing but who is really wanting it? not these guys that’s for sure and neither do I (so we’re on the same page there then)
This is a record about trying to cope with a city or a world that increasingly doesn’t seem to give a shit about people or history, art or culture just cold hard cash. This is where Pkew Pkew Pkew come in, pissed off and calling out the bullshit.
There’s an air of optimism happening here A band that you can feel their togetherness its better than getting a real job this travelling around making a noise lark and so it begins.
If this is a new band on you then what are you waiting for – dive in – get acquainted. There are fifteen songs on this album so they certainly pack em in and with most of them around the two-minute mark you can be sure they never ever overstay their welcome. They don’t reinvent the wheel that much is true maybe its fair to say they just ride the fucker and on this new record they just go for it – Turning the amps up on the opener ‘Still Hanging Out After All These Years’ (the title is almost as long as the song) it’s a heady mix of alt-rock and American college rock like The Replacements or early Lemonheads. ‘Point Break’ could easily be off one of those early Mats albums and I love the saxophone solo it wasn’t expected and takes the song somewhere different.
A band destined for bigger and better things and one along with say, Beach Slang deserve a shot and their fifteen minutes of fame as a bare minimum. In fact, after repeated plays, this might just be my new favourite band and certainly an early front runner for top ten album of 2019. Once the single ’65 Nickels’ gets in your head its hard to shake it off it’s like A punk rock Gaslight Anthem (if I might be so bold) had they headed through the mats door and not Springsteen door (nothing wrong with the Boss I’m not saying that) but one enjoyed a case of beer and some shots whilst the other went jogging and got fit. (we know that the beer and shots win right? Right! well thats pkewx3)
‘Skate 2’ comes out swinging whilst ‘Passed Out’ is more reflective and as you head into the home straight who doesn’t want to see a wolf? or end up at an ‘Adult Party’? you’ll be punching the air when the gang start chanting “Rich Kids Go fuck Yourselves” amen to that brothers, Amen.
C’mon enough words just click the link and thank me later ‘Optimal Lifestyles’ should be in your collection you know what to do next and get excited for the wait will be over soon-
Buy ‘Optimal Lifestyles’ Here
May 2019 UK Tour Dates w/ Spanish Love Songs:
07.05.19 – Brighton – The Hope & Ruin
08.05.19 – Manchester – Soup Kitchen
09.05.19 – Birmingham – The Flapper
10.05.19 – Bristol – The Exchange
11.05.19 – London – New Cross Inn