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Fractured Party Music


Artist: Pet Needs
Label: Xtra Mile Recordings
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 March 2021

Xtra Mile Recordings releases Fractured Party Music, the debut album by Colchester-based Punk band Pet Needs. Guitarist brothers George and Johnny created some energetic ‘anti-anthems’ before adding Jack on drums and Rich on bass to their ranks. Already, they’ve played on bills alongside Buzzcocks, PIL, and The Undertones. But it was their live performance at Camden Rocks that got them noticed by Producer Frank Turner. Pet Needs turned the lockdown into something positive, using the time and pent-up energy to record their first album. 'Pavlovian' is the first single. Fractured Party Music is described as a ‘blitz upon apathy’ with musings on ambition against commercial success, pretence, and creativity/failure. The release is available on Vinyl, CD and for Download...

I’m not much of a fan of original 1970s Punk Rock, but I like the late 1970s Post Punk wave and modern Pop-Punk, if it’s kept fresh. My main criteria for any Rock, Metal or close variations is energy and melody. I have to say that this release has it in spades. It’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised by a release, and this one both brought a smile and at times made me wish I was at a live gig and experiencing this in person, leaping about down the front. The opening screeching feedback informs of the energy the listener is about to receive, and I am truly thankful. The strained vocals are a hundred miles an hour, with retrospective slower breaks featuring piano. This is very clearly an intro, because 'Tracy Emin’s Bed' breaks though with a nice driving beat and shades of Green Day, but made more Punk courtesy of the commonly spoken English vocals. The guitar break is great and a large part of the structure. 'Sympathetic Accent Syndrome' has clearly shouted distanced vocals which seem to take lead over the music, aside from instrumental parts. Many of the songs on offer here could easily be singles and 'Toothpaste' is a prime example. It has a nice guitar and bass groove, and melodic rough vocals. The singing style on this album is quite versatile. Most are two to three-and-a-half minute tracks, with great riff hooks and soloing. No song makes the mistake of outstaying its welcome.

'Overcompensating' is a heavy Pop-Punk song. I love the space noise when this one changes structure in the middle, before returning to the early energy. 'As the Spin Cycle Span' is an enjoyable Punk ballad. Wow, is this one great! The words really mean something: the boring cycle of life, being stuck in an endless job, being lonely, getting old, and trying to be creative to the point of being noticed. This is wholly different; definitely, a standout track. 'Pavlovian' is moderate but heavy in parts. Every song completely reels you in with the earnest but clear vocals, interwoven tightly with fantastic catchy music. 'Kayak' follows the brothers’ experiences before forming the band. It’s a fast moving Punk melody, with the fastest guitar solo of the bunch. 'You Look Like You Never Bought a Scratchcard' is a fast ditty reminiscent of a hoedown or a Western barroom brawl. There is a more laidback middle section before the onslaught returns. By now, I just want to leap about with expressionistic joy and energetic mania. You can’t stay still to most of this stuff.

'Roses' has an unusual beginning and opening riff. The words don’t seem to fit the music on this one, and that makes them fit even better – if that makes sense. It’s an uncommon amalgamation that works well. This has some heavy backbeat moments, inspiring some screaming. It turns Metal in style – which is fine by me. 'Embers' tells us to “Grab life by the balls and live it, because before I know it I’ll be lying there with eyes like embers.” An atmospheric effects-laden  guitar solo sees us out. All I can say is it’s an excellent debut album by a home-grown band that looks like they’re going places. There isn’t a duff track, and every song has its own individual identity. Highly recommended.


Ty Power

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