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Music Review

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Primetime Entertainment


Artist: Pet Needs
Label: Xtra Mile Recordings
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 September 2022

Xtra Mile Recordings releases Primetime Entertainment, the follow-up album to 2021’s debut Fractured Party Music, by Essex Punk band Pet Needs. Johnny Marriott leads from the front, with brother George Marriott on guitar, Rich Gutierrez on bass and Jack Lock on drums. Johnny describes this release as their ‘London Calling’ – a much more personal reflection of fear, fatigue, adrenaline, failing and determination. A journey of profound psychological discovery. It is a purposeful conflict of loud and quiet textures of self-analysis. But there is always room for humour and irony. The album is produced by friend and mentor Frank Turner. It is available on Vinyl, CD and for Download...

Track List: 'Lost Again'; 'Ibiza in Winter'; 'Get on the Roof'; 'Tried and Failed'; 'Spirals'; 'Primetime Entertainment'; 'Only Happy'; 'The Argument'; 'Fear the Whole Damn World'; 'Dear Abi'; 'Thanks For the Invite'; and 'Nobody Ever Warned Us'.

I had the distinct pleasure of reviewing Fractured Party Music in 2021, and presented it with the full 10 out of 10 it deserved. The follow-up to a debut album isn’t called ‘The Difficult Second Album’ without good reason. The listener is used to the sound quality and energy, the songs are well-honed by the band before being recorded, and there is the question of whether the new material should be more of the same or make a subtle – or even drastic – change to supposedly keep it fresh. I’m pleased to report that all the things are in place which made the debut such a revelation, whilst taking a risk and pushing the boundaries somewhat.

It breaks out of the traps at a rate of knots, with the songs – if anything – even more defined. On the first album, it was all about the words, whereas this outing is complete and structured as a band. I love the typically English rooted accent; it makes the group sound like a Pop-Punk version of The Kinks, which in my eyes is quite an attribute and a definite complement. It would be so easy for these tracks to be ‘samey’, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. They are really inventive, and use all the natural skills to make the running order versatile. The title track is an experiment too far, perhaps. But it is very different and expresses the versatility of the combo. And Johnny expresses heartfelt emotion with the lyrical poetry of 'Dear Abi'.

The rest of the album is right up my street, with energy and melody aplenty. It brings a smile to the face, and that’s no mean feat in recent times. I didn’t think that Pet Needs would top Fractured Party Music, but they’ve comfortably placed this one at the top of the pecking order.


Ty Power

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