‘Dead End City’ was originally released back in 2001 by Stardumb Records. While you can still pick up vinyl repressings in Europe, this long out of print album from Italian stallions The Peawees is finally available on CD for the US market on Rum Bar Records.
The Peawees have been playing low slung rock ‘n’ roll for over two decades now and last year’s ‘Moving Target’, their 5th long player, proves they have aged disgracefully and are in fact, a band at the height of their powers, melding vintage Elvis Costello melodies with 50’s rock ‘n’ roll vibes and dirty, punk rock goodness.
‘Dead End City’ originally came out at a time when the airwaves were choc a bloc with a different kind of punk. The pop/punk of Sum 41 and Blink 182 were mainstream, yet it was the Scandinavian bands that were ruling the stereos of those in the know, right? Albums by the likes of Backyard Babies, The Hellacopters and The Hives are the ones that stick in my memory from 2001. There were plenty of other great albums that were very much under the radar, such as this little gem of an album.
Led by singer/guitarist Hervé Peroncini, The Peawees bash out an irresistible combination of garage rock, rhythm & blues and punk rock that is as timeless as the influences they wear on their leather jacket clad sleeves.
Opener ‘Road To Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is a wall of guitars and urgent beats, with a chorus that brings to mind RPM faves The Loyalties, in part due to the vocal similarities to Tom Spencer. In fact, this album pre-dates the Loyalties, coming out a year after The Yo-Yo’s disbanded and a few years before The Loyalties got going.
Lead single ‘Cause You Don’t Know Me’ is a mighty fine anthemic blast of rock ‘n’ roll fun, you will swear down you have heard before. I was that convinced, I was on the net quick sharpish to check! Hervé’s gruff vocals cut through the distortion to deliver an instant chorus that will stick long after the final notes have faded. Brilliant stuff.
With pop-tastic melodies on the likes of ‘No Reaction’ and ‘Ready To Go’, handclaps and cool as you like solos that nod their heads to Chuck Berry (‘In My Heart Tonight’) and to spaghetti westerns (‘I’m Not Right’), the tunes on ‘Dead End City’ cannot fail to ignite the rock ‘n’ roll in your soul one way or another, guaranteeing your return for repeated listens.
While a choice, run through of CCR’s ‘Proud Mary’ closed the original album, now an additional 3 tracks including the old doo wop classic ‘Run Around Sue’ and the super-fantastic rocker ‘Don’t Give A Fuck’ only adds to the high energy fun of a band that gloriously melds vintage, guitar-driven garage rock goodness with the pop sensibilities of new wave, to create a masterful album that will sit proudly between The Hellacopters and Social Distortion on your shelf.
Author: Ben Hughes