Steve Wilson. On music.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pete and the Pirates - One Thousand Pictures (Stolen Recordings/U.K.)

I guess they’re called Pete and the Pirates because they have two guys named Pete in the band. Otherwise, who knows, they might have been called Tom and the Tyrants (the lead singer’s name is Thomas Sanders). Frankly, it doesn’t seem like a name that was given a lot of thought. But what’s in a name; it’s what’s in the grooves, as they used to say when there were grooves. But I digress.

It’s their second album, you see, and it’s entitled One Thousand Pictures. And a stumble or two notwithstanding it’s really, really good. I suppose by the industrial standards of British rock they’d be considered an ‘indie’ band. But let me tell you right now – that means something very different with respect to music than it does in the States. Where Amer-indie rock is dominated by post-graduates cooking up genre jokes and goofball aesthetic strategies, young British musicians by and large aren’t afraid of: a) melody and b) making records that sound like they were actually trying to make the songs sound good. Crazy, I know. Hell, I’m even getting aural fatigue from my beloved American garage-rock. Seriously, does everybody have to shoot for a sonic spectrum that tries, usually in vain, to aspire to the sound limitations of a scratchy Sixties rhythm ‘n’ blues single? A Thousand Pictures, without being in the least ‘over-produced,’ sounds big. You can hear all the parts, distinguish the voices – the production enhances the performances. End of rant.