PET NEEDS – FRACTURED PARTY MUSIC
Colchester 4-piece Pet Needs have channelled a year’s worth of frustrated creative energy into an explosive debut album: ‘Fractured Party Music‘. With friend, champion and illustrious label mate Frank Turner on mixing and mastering duties, it’s an exciting and intriguing work that utilises an eclectic palette of many shades. A big splurge of art-punk is offset by more delicate melodic details and dark shadows of hardcore and doom rock, with extra texture from hints of grime and folk punk. A lot is going on.
Trailed as a “blitz against apathy”, this is an all-out assault on the weary cynic. Whilst distracted by the cutesy cover art of two soft toys, my personal stash of cynicism was deftly wrested from me by the first few numbers.
Opener’ Outline‘ bursts in with heavy guitars and a machine gun lyrical delivery that reminds me of the grime punk of Riskee And The Ridicule. Contrasting quieter moments showcase a more reflective vocal, reminiscent of Mike Skinner from The Streets, and a wittily downcast lyric:
“I can’t remember my reasons for getting this fucked in the first place, maybe it’s somebody’s birthday, or just another Thursday, in this big-fish-little-pond town.”
I love this band already, and this is only the first number.
Current single ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed‘ chugs along with damped rhythm guitar and an art-punk vibe. The lyric is as attention-grabbing as the titular Academician: “It’s like Tracey Emin’s bed in my head, kind of creative but mainly just a mess.” There’s an entertaining bed-themed accompanying video too.
‘Sympathetic Accent Syndrome‘ features heavy guitars and a rollicking, punch the air chorus, whilst ‘Toothpaste‘ is more angular and arty, in a sharp style redolent of bands like Art Brut and Franz Ferdinand. Amusingly, it includes a “bah bah bah” chorus sung in angry geezer voices. ‘Overcompensating‘ flits between lovely rhythmic stabs, faster shout-along sections, and a guitar and synth wig-out that ushers in a powerful ending. “Buy a bigger house so you can sit farther away from each other” is the lyrical gist.
“This is intelligent and thoughtful music, deftly executed”
‘As The Spin Cycle Span‘ is a quiet and reflective triumph. The poignant tale of an artist whose lack of commercial success finds him mending domestic appliances, it’s a movingly beautiful and melodic piece, the impact of which is increased by its striking contrast with the previous tracks.
Earlier single ‘Pavlovian‘ ushers back the heavy guitars whilst addressing the relentless commercialism of the age: ‘I’ve been watching videos that tell me I’m in charge of my own destiny, each one surrounded by a targeted advert based on my search history.”
“I don’t want to die, but it’d be great for business,” muses the lyric of ‘Kayak’ over an insistently stabbing rhythm. Apparently, band founders George and Johnny Marriott have a penchant for river trips using this inherently unstable mode of transport. The splendidly titled ‘You Look Like You Never Bought A Scratchcard‘ is an utterly intoxicating blend of artiness with the urgent rhythm and sharp accentuating stabs of folk punk.
There’s a heavy rock vibe to ‘Roses‘ with an appealingly twiddly overdriven guitar riff and some fast, tight drumming with fluid changes of rhythm. Final number, ‘Embers‘ is more contemplative, employing interesting string sounds as it ponders the transience of life before building to an instrumental climax. A chiming, delay-drenched guitar solo is propelled to soaring heights by the tight and focused rhythm section before the mournful vocal’s slight return concludes the number and the album.
This is intelligent and thoughtful music, deftly executed with an exciting collision of music styles. Consciously arty and insightfully witty, Pet Needs are a band on a mission, bursting with energy and passion. They have their sights set on the cynicism and stagnation that blight our present time, and I wouldn’t be inclined to stand in their way.
‘Fractured Party Music’ is released on Xtra Mile Records on 12th March. Do yourself a favour and check it out.
You can Pre-order ‘Fractured Party Music’ HERE
Pet Needs are:
Johnny and George – vocals and guitars
Jack – drums
Rich – bass
Fractured Party Music tracklist:
- Tracey Emin’s Bed
- Sympathetic Accent Syndrome
- As The Spin Cycle Span
- You Look Like You Never Bought A Scratchcard