Thursday, January 1, 2015
Pedaljets Self Titled The Communion Label 1989
Pedaljets Self Titled The Communion Label 1989 COMM13
There's a hype sticker on the back of this copy that states the following; "2nd recording from K.C.'s greatest quartet. D'ya like Zen Arcade? Raymond Carver stories? Lots of guitars? Then, come on down to Stipple County!" High praise indeed, but you'd expect it from the band's label.
To address everything there, though... Greatest quartet? Well, again, label hype. The Zen Arcade comparison is warranted. The Pedaljets sound like the rural in between to Husker Du and Replacements. Like Zen Arcade, this album is trying to tell a story. Thus, the Raymond Carver hype. The Pedaljets aren't Carver-good at telling stories, they aren't even as good as Husker Du, but A for effort. They fall shy of Westerberg on a lyrical front. The group is more about being a rock band than poets, anyway. The "lots of guitars" is also warranted. The band picked up an additional guitarist, which let them spread their sound out a bit more. This is much more ambitious than the previous album, Today Today. Initially, it sounds weaker than Today Today, but repeated listens prove this LP is the band's best work.
So, despite the shortfalls of the hype sticker, what the Pedaljets do well is make a great sounding album. This isn't awash in late-80's style. In fact, you'd think with the multiple guitars you're hearing something from the 90's. And, yes, the band is very similar to the Replacements and Husker Du, but this isn't a poor man's version. Musically, they're on the same level. Repeated listens are all you need. Just keep listening to this, it's better every time.
Also of note, the original artwork was done by Archer Prewitt who was a Coctail at the time, but went onto to form the Sea & Cake with Sam Prekop. This copy is also pressed on virgin vinyl, which may not have been standard for all copies, but the sound benefits greatly because of it. The Pedaljets would reissue a CD of the album with new artwork and mastering...it wasn't needed, it's great as is.