Pkew Pkew Pkew
Pkew Pkew Pkew


3.5
great

Review

by Ben USER (14 Reviews)
July 5th, 2017 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Keep calm, carry on, and have a beer

Pkew Pkew Pkew’s debut Pkew Pkew Pkew (yup, that’s what its called) really should not work. It’s a 21 minute breeze of an album consisting almost entirely of 90s pop punk clichés and cultural stereotypes, intentionally exaggerated and distorted to their extremes in quite a caricatural fashion. Sloppy distorted power chords peppered with simplistic, bouncy melodies burst from every crevice of the record, propelled forward by energetic and vibrant drum work. This backdrop is laden with unashamed ‘woahs’, ‘yeahs’, and gang vocals exploring a ridiculous assortment of jovial topics – there are indeed songs dedicated entirely to the ‘nuances’ of ordering pizza, dealing with arsehole neighbours, and getting smashed with a couple of mates. Its dumb and its silly and it fails pretty much every objective criterion of musical excellence I can think of, yet its undoubtedly the most fun I’ve had with an album in quite some time.

Indeed, I’ve had the hardest time trying to articulate why, despite all the odds, such an amalgamation of cheese and immaturity doesn’t make me want to slam my head into my desk, but instead readily forces a smile. It’s certainly helped by the charm and energy with which each song is delivered, and some rough and lively production. Short, 1:30 track lengths ensure no song outstays its welcome, and a self-aware execution means that the listener laughs with and not at Pkew. But the main reason for its success is a little more subtle and impressive: Pkew appear to have successfully bottled the spirit of the genre that they champion.

The album’s underlying message is very much that of finding joy amidst adversity, an easily relatable endeavour that (I believe) has always remained a constant thematic thread within pop punk, even in it’s more mature and morose modern manifestations (The Wonder Years, The Hotelier, etc.). Pkew’s nonsensical ramblings on booze and friendship thus begin to make a bit more sense, collectively producing an aesthetic of freedom, reckless abandonment and stubborn happiness, complimented by the record’s bubbly and anthemic instrumental backdrop. Such themes are solidified by album highlights and bookends, ‘Blood Clot’ and ‘Kathie Lee + Hoda’, quashing any doubts that I was finding meaning where there was none. The former’s tale of a skateboarding accident equally serves as a rallying metaphor for overcoming life’s hurdles, battered and bruised but grinning all the same. ‘Kathie Lee + Hoda’ mirrors such ideas, closing the record by kicking the Pkew formula up to an 11; the linearly-structured song winds briskly to a blazing solo that, in turn, gives way to a euphoric chant of “I could suffer through life or have fun 'til I die”, concluded with a defiant cry of “I just wanna lay down, but *** it, I'll fight”. It’s a fitting finale that neatly encapsulates why Pkew’s self-titled is so damn likable, as absurd as it is. It’s an endearing, fun and familiar mess of an album, as silly as they come, and pushing a message that I think we can all get behind: Keep calm, carry on, and have a beer.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
July 5th 2017


5898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Went for a fairly casual prose on this one, and kind of speak in generalisations for large chunks, but overall happy with it given it took roughly 4 months of failed drafts to finalise. C/c appreciated as always. Cheers guys.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2017


2356 Comments


characteristically excellent man, love it how succinctly and eloquently you capture the space that these guys occupy within their niche

tom79
July 5th 2017


3659 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review man. I saw these guys a couple years back open for Iron Chic/Spraynard and they sounded good but for some reason I never got around to checking out their album. I think I will change that now.

Digging: Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak

cosmopazz
July 5th 2017


410 Comments


don't remember how i got into this band, but still good album

AsleepInTheBack
July 5th 2017


5898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers Jack and Tom, really appreciate it. Definitely give this a spin if you get the chance, its only 20 minutes of your life. Unless you don't like pop punk, in which case don't even touch this with a 10 foot pole

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2017


24306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review Asleep, always good to see a review from ya. and yeah cosmo I remember you rec-ing this to me. good shit

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2017


2714 Comments


You interweave descriptive and analytical, formal and informal writing in the best of ways. Fantastic review, Ben. Will finally check this (again, I think) when I find some headphones.

Digging: Pedro the Lion - Phoenix

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2017


9368 Comments


good to see you're back swinging.. and a great review to boot..

Digging: Julius Eastman - Unjust Malaise

tom79
July 5th 2017


3659 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh yeah this is a lot of fun. Just in time for summer.

AsleepInTheBack
July 5th 2017


5898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers guys, much appreciated. Especially Blush, lovely words and, again, thanks for the proofread

ianblxdsoe
July 5th 2017


1908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album, didnt really feel like mainstream pop punk shit to me though, way more raw

Digging: Nedarb - Amity

AsleepInTheBack
July 5th 2017


5898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

glad you enjoyed it, and very true, I should have let that come through my review a bit more, though it was implicit

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
July 6th 2017


2309 Comments


great review man. id give some constructive criticism, but it would be nitpicky shit about commas

Digging: The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land

AsleepInTheBack
July 6th 2017


5898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers mate, appreciate it

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 6th 2017


29207 Comments


Great review man. Sounds like something I might like, too.

Digging: Mree - The Middle

AsleepInTheBack
July 6th 2017


5898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ey thanks sowing. it may be a little rougher round the edges than the pop punk I've seen you enjoy, but I'd certainly recommend giving it a spin

AaroN911
December 4th 2017


2284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fun album, good review

DarkSideOfLucca
December 4th 2017


14380 Comments


What a fucking band name

DinosaurJones
December 4th 2017


10016 Comments


BRRAP BRRAP PEW PEW

AsleepInTheBack
December 4th 2017


5898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers aaron. yeah, dumb band and dumb band name, but i love 'em



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