Wednesday, November 16, 2011

REVIEW// PET: Middle Child Syndrome

    First off I have no idea whether this is a single or an EP, but what matters is that it's awesome right? Right. I do have a sneaking suspicion that it is the Edinburgh based outfit's second single however, but don't hold me to that. A quintet composed of four guys and a girl, PET dropped 'Middle Child Syndrome' little over seven days ago, and since then I've been rather in awe of it's no-nonsense attitude to experimentation. Three tracks that sound completely different, and yet are linked by something more than simply vocals or instrumentation. It's almost a sensibility or ethos the band has that ties the songs together, and it works so, so well. On the surface, a vocal strain and lo-fi top-coat suggest similar rough production, but delve deeper and there is a level of delicacy and refinement and care that makes this single. Every layer has been scrutinised, but there is still that sense of immediacy and that compelling in-the-moment spontaneity that is somehow necessary. It's a fine balance, but one that PET manage to pull off brilliantly. It's available for whatever you want to pay here.
     The opening number is, as you may have guessed, also the title track. A piano melody is met by some guitar, drums, a little experimental syncopation and eventually, the vocals. I fell in love with them from the off. Their speed and energy. Their subtly melodic tone. In the first song we're handed both, at some points lathered in reverb and echo, and at other parts not. The builds within verses are sang with playful, half-serious aggression, and all things considered, it's just a plain fantastic song. Lo-fi? Rock? Pop? Who cares when the accumulation of all three can turn out so wonderfully? The next track 'Love Buzz' is a slower, decidedly more tripped out number, full of muffled bleeps and affected wails and a simple drum beat. Was that an alien laser thrown in at 0:43? It's not a particularly frightening five minutes, and I suppose I like its adventurous, mischievous charm. It's a track that slowly draws you into its deep, mesmerising sensuality if you like, and all that experimentation with samples only goes to enhance the experience. The final song here finishes the EP on a similar note. Affected electronic voices crawl and limp across tribal drums, following its captivating beat at a slow by terrifyingly steady pace. It's just stunning!
     Let's go over 'Middle Child Syndrome' again then. Three unique tracks that have been recorded with a passion and ability that far exceeds PET's previous effort. It's a fully formed vision that is both spontaneous and well thought out. Refined and yet beautifully rough. An epitome that proves experimental music doesn't have to be hard to 'get'. It's an easy recommendation to make, so stream the opener and then grab the single up above!