Thursday, May 02, 2019

The Peawees - Dead End City

I generally don't review reissues, but I have been known to make exceptions. I will definitely make one for The Peawees - one of the world's greatest rock and roll bands for a couple of decades running. Dead End City, the band's classic third album, was originally released in 2001 on Stardumb Records. Three years ago, Stardumb celebrated the album's 15th anniversary with a vinyl reissue that included three bonus tracks. Now Rum Bar Records has stepped up to issue Dead End City on CD for the first time in 16 years. This also happens to be the first time this album has EVER been released in the U.S.A.! I vaguely recall reviewing this LP upon its original release. But hearing it with fresh ears 18 years later, I don't think I initially appreciated what an absolute monster this album is!

Dead End City was The Peawees' step into greatness. Over the years, they've only gotten better: refining their musical chops and expanding their sound with the incorporation of garage, soul, and pop influences. But by 2001, Hervé Peroncini had fully blossomed into an exceptional songwriter. In playing '50s/'60s inspired rock and roll by the way of '70s punk, The Peawees were not doing anything inherently groundbreaking. But Hervé's ability to write amazing songs with memorable hooks allowed the band to truly stand out in a somewhat crowded punk rock n' roll scene. Dead End City sure sounds like an album made under the influence of bands like the Devil Dogs and Spaceshits. And with both of those bands long gone at that point, wasn't it time for someone to carry the torch? The Peawees were more than worthy heirs to the throne, and years later scorching tracks like "Road To Rock 'N' Roll" and "Ready To Go" thrill me as much ever. In the light of 2019, I'm probably most enamored with the likes "'Cause You Don't Know Me" and "In My Heart Tonight" - mid-tempo rockers that are great pop songs first and foremost.

Listening to Dead End City now, I'm struck by how nicely it fits the scope of this blog. That whole poppy rock n' roll meets '70s punk thing is pretty much my sweet spot. The Peawees, a band loved equally by garage punks and pop-punk kids, were forerunners to so many of the bands I champion today. The early Peawees would have been right at home on Malibu Lou's Melted Records. So it just seems right that they would eventually end up joining the Rum Bar family. If you put on this album without even knowing who the Peawees were, you'd be like, "Damn right, they ought to be label mates with The Connection and Nato Coles!". I won't even argue that this is the band's most essential release. But it was the start of a remarkable run that has continued for nearly two decades. You can start with last year's Moving Target and work your way back. You can start with Dead End City and work your way forward. But sooner or later, you're gonna want to get your hands on everything this band has ever done. If you're looking for the vinyl reissue of Dead End City, Stardumb still has it!


1 comment:

Viajante sin fin said...

I’ve just seen them in Bilbao .
A Great show ,great songs,a lot of fun and attitude.