Friday, March 28, 2008

Album Review: Pete and the Pirates – Little Death

If you paid any attention whatsoever in English class you know exactly what “little death” refers to. I once had a particular professor who was very fond of talking about la petite morte whenever possible. If for some reason you’re not acquainted with the term, well, just think of “Drew” from the movie Office Space’s “O-face,” and that should do it. Given that a hefty chunk of Pete and the Pirates' debut album is seemingly bathed in sexual innuendo (and flat-out sexy talk), the title is nothing if not incredibly appropriate.

But let’s put sex aside for just a moment. In all seriousness, the Reading boys have quickly honed a sound that is a scrumptious blend of vintage 1990s Supergrass, touches of the saucy T. Rex-ian rock of the Fratellis, and a dash of the endearing deadpan and guitar riffs of the Young Knives. Led by taut, frantic guitars, Pete and the Pirates chart a course for romance in their baker’s dozen tracks. In short, Little Death is full of spring fever, the birds and the bees, and all sorts of naughty bits. And as Depeche Mode once declared, I just can’t get enough. From start to finish it’s a joyfully rollicking ride, all youthful exuberance and loved-upness.

Little Death is adorably cheeky, putting sex into the fore with unabashed abandon and gusto. The songs are so catchy and the lyrics so blatantly sexed up and yet somehow clever, I found myself in love pretty much as soon as the first song began. “Come on Feet,” “Knots,” and “Eyes Like Tar” are so good I have to remind myself that this is indeed a debut album. Listening to this record makes me want to run through the streets of Richmond and kiss every mop-topped, skinny-jeaned boy that crosses my path. There’ll be no walking the plank for these Pirates, though I foresee much booty in their future.

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