You know that feeling when you hear a record that you had zero expectations of and it made you sit up and pay attention, Well Pedaljets did that. The last time I played Pedaljets was when they released ‘Whats In Between’ almost seven years ago! Thats almost ‘Chinese Democracy’ levels. This Kansas City band have been a unit since the mid ’80s and they’ve outseen the likes of some of their peers that have long since shot their bolt so to speak bands such as Husker Du, The Replacements and the likes of other contemporaries like Meat Puppets and the Flaming Lips all bands they’ve been lucky enough to play with over the years.
what we’ve got here is a band who knows a thing or two about this volatile game of Rock and Roll and who lay down some markers with the spikey ‘Dissasociation Blues’ with its sprightly pace and wholesome tone clashing with the rough overdriven guitars whilst Mike Allmayers vocals remind me of a midwestern Greg Dulli at times but with a wider range but on the opener, we are talking similar ballparks.
In contrast ‘Placid City Girl’ has the melody of REM being driven by the spirit of Lou Reed. ‘Down Town’ on the other hand rocks it up. The band draws on all their combined experiences to cut a most listenable slice of rock. ‘Loved A Stone’ whilst knocking out a rough-edged riff the vocals are warm and engaging and it comes across as a band confident in who they are and what they are trying to achieve with their music. they stretch themselves in another direction with the more laid back ‘Transfer’s Done’ but that’s all blown away on the album highlight that is the menacing ‘This Is Sepsis’ that reminds me of The Fall meets the Cramps and swaps some tunes over a handshake and a few tabs. but its a really engaging tune with a really off the wall guitar break – excellent stuff indeed.
As the album meanders through a great blend of tunes from the chillin’ ‘Sleepy Girl’ passed the more sprightly ‘One Away’. The title track is a great magnet that pulls in everything that’s gone before it on the record a really good track of timeless alternative Rock and Roll call it scuzzy Americana but it makes for a great tune before being serenaded by the acoustic ‘What Only Cats Chase’ with its sparse arrangement and warm strings. Before signing off with the street rumbling of ‘The Fader’ and we’re done as the band rides off into the sunset like a Rock and Roll Thelma and Louise leaving the world fading in their rearview mirror amidst a cloud of dust. Pedaljets might just have made their finest three-quarters of an hour of music yet. Great effort guys – well worth the wait.
Buy ‘Twist The Lens’ from Feb 14th
Author: Dom Daley