Release The Pedaljets!!!
Electric Moth Records, 2013
9.0 / 10.0
Once upon a time in the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s there was a wonderful Rock and Roll band from Lawrence, Kansas called The Pedaljets. They played all over the United States. They played all the right bars and clubs. All the right shows. They played with all the right bands. They seemingly played all the right notes. They put out an album Today Today that lots of people admired for good reason. They wrote great songs. As fate would have it, they never got to take a “front row” ride on the rock and roll roller coaster. The sacked it in early 1990. Anyone who listened to them I bet would say, “With heads held high.” Like so many other Rock and Roll jewels of the midwest, somehow they never got their full due. Now, with the release of their newest record, What’s In Between, the time has come for that to change.
23 years later, the Pedaljets release a new batch of brand new tunes, What’s In Between. It starts with a menacing, driving, ominous tone of a beast being woken up from a long slumber. Their song “Terra Nova” is the perfect start to such a long lay off. It’s really funny trying to try to to compare what it sounds like to a modern audience. Most of the groups that I’m thinking of came out after Pedaljets sacked it. This makes me question, “How many bands did they inspire?” The beautiful thing about this album is that the Pedaljets have such a wonderful “Take it, or leave it” rock and roll confidence to their music. After 23 Years, there is zero desperation to “make” you like what they are doing. The “Been there, done that” attitude to the songwriting stands out. It makes the listener know their hearts are in the right place. Listeners aren’t stupid, they know when they are in good hands.
Chief songwriter Mike Allmayer is at his best. I’ve read in many places a comparison to Paul Westerberg and The Replacements. Normally I cringe when I read that because of all the let downs. It makes sense here. Songs like “Conversations”, “Change”, “Some Kind Of One” and “Measurement” have that Beatle-esque master craft to them. A slight country twang pops into the tunes and Mike’s voice now and then. The song “Change” stands out to me most lyrically. The wisdom of a 23 year layoff shines through.
I like the ballady, pop rock songs better than the straight forward rockers on What’s In Between. The more aggressive rock tunes like “Dead Day Return”, “Nothing Boy”, “Clowns And Jackals”, have a Dead Boys, Murder City Devils drive to them. There are times on these songs that Mike sounds a bit like Tom Petty. These songs aren’t bad, they just aren’t as captivating as the others. Super producer Paul Malinowski, who joined the mix when he helped revamp the Pedaljets self-titled release a couple of years ago, has stayed on as a second guitarist. He passed the mixing torch off to the legendary hands of John Agnello. This is a great collaboration, the production of this record is top notch.
What’s In Between has a little bit of something for everyone who loves rock and roll. It grows on you with every listen. This cruel unjust world will likely never give this band their deserved appreciation. The romantic in me would like to think The Pedaljets don’t give a fuck. In the day and age of bands from their heyday reforming to play reunion shows, The Pedaljets better hit the road to support their new album! Three cheers to a wonderful project.
Purchase: Pedaljets – What’s in Between
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