With a name like Pete and the Pirates, you would think that they’d be from some sea faring town on the coast, but no they’re from Reading? Sounding a little like Adam and the Ants with the bouncing bass lines and Tommy Sanders’ kind of whooping vocals. To be fair, I’ve also seen them compared to the Undertones and the Pixies which I can totally see. But the Adam Ant thing is more fun, because didn’t Adam and the Ants dress up like pirates? Those big boots, funny face painting and Napoleon jackets were a gas. I don’t think Pete and the Pirates dress in pirate getup, I suppose that’s not acceptable nowadays.
Dressing as swashbucklers or not, Pete and the Pirates certainly know how to rock it with their short sharp and jagged guitars and the multi-tracked vocals sounding like the whole band is singing at once. A lot of the excellent guitar on this record reminds me of Pete Solowka’s work from George Best era Wedding Present. It jangles a bit, and chugs a lot, with a post punk ringing, angular feel, but it crunches in a Pixies, Sonic Youth way in all the right places.
This little album that could has been in constant rotation for a good month with me, it’s songs are so short and catchy that when it’s over I find myself reaching to put it back on. Most of the songs clock in around or under 3 minutes, and I love an economical band that wraps a tight melody, some great guitar licks into a two minute and thirty three second pop song. the songs don’t wear out their welcome and it keeps you coming back for more. Little Death, the first great English album of 2008? The more I listen to it the more I’m a believer, pirate costumes or not.
mp3: Pete and the Pirates – Lost In the Wood (from Little Death)
mp3: The Wedding Present – What Did Your Last Servant Die Of? (from George Best)