Pkew Pkew Pkew –+One re-issue (Side One Dummy, 2017)

This is a bizarrely rapid turnaround for a re-issue. This was originally released in 2016 as ‘s/t’. What we got here is the s/t album plus one new song (hence the name). But, anyways, here we are, and I’m kinda glad to be here. I think. At least, I feel like I’ve shed 15 years off my actual age. Making me not 40 anymore. Yay.

I’ll admit to not having previously heard of this lot. Yet another band from Toronto. The themes here are apparently based around some of my main interests: beer, punk, skateboarding and pizza. Triple win. At least in theory. It’s also reportedly 12 songs in 24 minutes. Consider my interest to be well and truly piqued, good sirs.

Now then. Slapping this on, this strikes me as the boundless enthusiasm of youth unbridled coupled with a trad meets Nuevo Epi-Fat kinda ethos. Which having read that last line back doesn’t make a whole heap of sense, I admit it. So what I’m trying to get at is that this bears the hallmarks of the heyday of skatepunk, melodic hardcore or whatever you want to call it. There’s even a shade or three of quality street punk to this. It’s as if the 90s are finally back. Only with a more modern influence. Pretty much what you’d expect the bastard child of Lagwagon’s Hoss, Tony Sly’s (R.I.P.) No Use For A Name records (before they started making ones that sucked) and Teenage Bottlerocket to sound like. I think it really rips. It’s a record full of ultimate stoke anthems. Another record I’m not ashamed to say would have been ideal for thrashing the shit out of Stockport Bones (R.I.P.) back in the day. Even if you stacked badly to this, you’d be back up in short order. Fuck sprains, torn ligaments and smashed cartilage, mate.

To leave it at that would be selling it a little short. There’s also a really cool feel to this that reminds me of J Church (R.I.P.). Jeezerz. Clocking up a fair few R.I.P.’s here aren’t we? But yeah, it’s also got this kinda emotive slant to it which sorta sits at odds with the bulk of the lyrical content. It’s all good though, as it contributes to a well rounded sound. This record is also chock full of well considered whoa-ing, ooh-ing, aah-ing and na-na-na-ing. Although NOFX once condemned whoa-ing (Whoa on the Whoas), y’know, when it’s done properly, it’s fine innit. I’m also digging an alt country / Americana type facet to the sound that reminds me a lot of Lucero…

Controversial statement, but people forget that when you strip out the couple of juvenile songs about dick jokes and farts that Dude Ranch by Blink 182 was a great album. It was fast, poppy, but kinda techy (not in a nobby way) and had some blinding riffs and pacing. This record reminds me of that, too. Is this 20 years too late (considering DR came out 20 years ago – fuck, I now feel old again – hooray for me. And now I’ve name checked a Bad Religion track) or is this the spearhead of a much needed and longed for (by me at least) revival?

I keep promising myself I’ll go out thrashing this summer, but realistically, I’m just scared of embarrassing myself, innit. But, at the very least, it does remind me of the heady days of yore: eating sausage butties, thrashing the skateboard and listening to Lagwagon (shout out to the users of Manc Punk Scene forum (R.I.P.). Fuxache. I feel fucking tragic.

Tony of Nurgle rating: 8.5/10

You can check this out on the Bandcamp player below:

You can pick this up from sideonedummy here on piss yellow (verily) vinyl or no doubt in shops that sell the good good shit.

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