Sunday, September 10, 2006
Pete and the Pirates/Tap Tap
Everyday I find myself in a quandary as to what to listen to for those 17 minutes (yes exactly 17 mins - I have to be precise because I get up as late as possible) as I walk to and from work. I have 30GB of music on my MP3 player and yet I still struggle to choose something to listen to. Recently two bands have been my saving grace: Pete and the Pirates and Tap Tap. Based in Reading these two bands, in a roundabout lazy descriptive kind of way, are the same. As in Tom Sanders, lead singer in Pete and the Pirates, is Tap Tap with members of PATP and other friends featuring on his album Lanzafame.
So to avoid more confusion lets talk about them one by one, apologies my brain is mangled.....
Pete and the Pirates
Over the last 6 months the pirates have released two EPs: Get Even and Wait. Stop. Begin. They are both good. In many respects they remind me of the Mystery Jets in the way their songs are so carefree. However they stand out from all the NME bands knocking around these days as their songs simply don't sound the same. They use standard chord progressions but make them their own with imaginative vocal harmonies, inventive guitar lines and pumping beats. 'Knife' from the Get Even EP is the perfect example of this: at only 1:31 seconds long you can quite happily play it on repeat at least 3 or 4 times and is one of the strongest of their collection. Pete and the Pirates sing about everyday things: cooking dinner, hanging out at discos, drinking, girls and other things I'm not so sure about but I still happily sing along regardless. I would write more about particular songs but with 14 to choose from I think I rather just recommend you have a listen out for Nuana, Electric, Come on Feet, This Thyme and Disco. Also listen out for Knots which is currently posted on their myspace: its top dollar. Their current releases can be bought from Stolen Recordings. Both EPs come in charming little packaging with quirky little drawings which only makes the band more endearing.
To clarify Tap Tap is Tom Sanders, lead singer in Pete and the Pirates, with some of the other folks from the band and various other friends. In the same vein as the Pirates, Tap Tap is slightly more lofi and a bit more on the acoustic side of things. Lanzafame released on Catbird Records is 11 songs long and one of the strongest albums I've heard in a long time. My favourite thing about this album is the way its recorded - there's no post production sheen to this - the drums and bass are often high on the mix which help to give Sander's songs an extra oomph. Head nodding is a regular occurrence particularly on album opener 100,00 thoughts, Little Match (Big Fire), and stand out track Way To Go, Boy. Little Match (Big Fire), a song about starting a fire surprisingly, has a haunting, dark feel to it and has one of the best guitar solos I've heard in ages - every time I hear it I always feel envious that I didn't think of it myself! While Way To Go, Boy, an accordion lead number, has a great intro with the drums and bass line coming in when you least expect it - keeping you on your toes. The album does feature more subtle, softer songs too; She doesn't belong is a beautiful song which recently has been adopted by Pete and the Pirates on their Wait. Stop. Begin EP. The version on Lanzafame however, is far superior as its more stripped down and scratchy which I love. The lyrics are great: It's so cold this morning/ My breath comes out like steam/ I got up in such a hurry/I'm still stuck inside my dreams/I can hide behind sunglasses/It's not as a bad as it seems being my favourite stanza (ooh poetic reference) of the song.
P.S What I'm listening to at the mo:
1. Mystery Jets - Diamonds in the Dark
2. Spank Rock - YO YO YO YO YO - click on link for song called Rick Rubin.
3. Tapes 'n' Tapes - Omaha
4. Eagles of Death Metal - I only want you.
5. Grizzly Bear - On a Neck on a Spit
6. Beirut - Postcards from Italy
7. Cajun Dance Party - Time Falls
8. DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
9. Ramona Cordova - Giver's Reply
10. Hemstad - Kaserntorgets Charkdisco