Monday, 25 July 2016

Album Review: Pkew Pkew Pkew by Pkew Pkew Pkew

What do Propaghandi, PUP, The Planet Smashers and The Penske File have in common? They are all great Canadian bands whose name starts with the letter P. Something of a trend in Canada it seems as another fantastic band from Canada whose name also starts with P has emerged. The brilliant or ridiculously named (I've not decided which yet) Pkew Pkew Pkew. The four piece from Toronto have recently put out a new self titled album on Royal Mountain Records. After hearing one of the tracks on a compilation earlier in the year I was very excited to check this album out.

Pkew Pkew Pkew begins with a song titled Blood Clot. This song really shows you what Pkew Pkew Pkew are about immediately. Fast, in your face pop punk with massive group vocals that are easy and fun to scream along to. The track gets the album off to a great start! This is followed up with Asshole Pandemic. Asshole Pandemic is a much calmer track about having noisey neighbours. Like many Pkew Pkew Pkew songs there aren't a lot of lyrics but the songs don't need to be wordy. When you have a chorus such as "Asshole Pandemic, Why's This Fucking Dick Gotta Be Such A Cock?" nobody expects a lyrical masterpiece, just a fantastic time. This is followed up with the song Prequel To Asshole Pandemic. Originally I thought that this was odd track ordering but after listening to the song I thought this was a fantastic idea. On Asshole Pandemic I was made to think that the band were complaining about having noisey neighbours but on Prequel it is revealed that the band are the noisey neighbours. The lyrics "And If The Other Tenants Care, Then Fuck 'Em" display this.

Mid-20's Skateboarder is the song of Pkew Pkew Pkew's that I first heard on a compilation. Containing gang vocals for the duration of the song this track is nothing but pure unadulterated fun. A stupidly simple song that will be stuck in your head for a long time but will always have you smiling. When I was checking out the lyrics I was quite surprised just how few there are. "Mid-20's Skateboarder, I Hope I Don't Get Hurt, Drinkin' A Six Pack Of Beer, Takes Away All The Fear" are the only lyrics in the song and they're repeated over and over again. Brilliantly simple, like the best pop punk ever. Brilliantly the next track, Hanging Out is the half the length of Skateboarder but has double the lyrics. Hanging Out is an up-tempo number about enjoying time with your friends, it not mattering what you're doing as long as you're together. Reading the lyrics of The Prime Minister of Defence got me thinking. The song features someone by the name of John McDonald. After a quick Google I discovered there song could be about one of two people (or a combination of both). One John MacDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada and the other being John McDonald who was an infielder that played in the MLB for Toronto. After a little more Wiki research I discovered that John McDonald (baseball player) had the nickname Prime Minister of Defence. The song is really about trying to step up to the plate in life but failing so deciding to stay at the level you're at. When I first saw the title of the next track Glory Days, I kind of hoped it was a Springsteen cover. As awesome as that would have been it's not. Surprisingly Pkew Pkew Pkew did write a song that goes past three minutes in length though. Starting out slowly with just guitar and vocals there is a bit of a Springsteen feeling to it. That's until the full band comes in. Then we're back to the loud, brash pop punk stuff. Glory Days is a song about the popular kids at school whose lives peaked at that point of time and never got back to such heights.

The eighth track on the album is Let's Order A Pizza. Much like Mid-20's Skateboarder this is a short song with very minimal lyrics. That's completely fine by me though because the few lyrics contained in the song will be lodged in your head for a long time. The song is a bit silly but also so relatable. It's obviously about ordering a pizza but having an argument with your pals but whose turn it is to order. We've all been there! Before We Go Out Drinking is a song about pre-drinking before you go out for the night. This is more of a mid-tempo sing along track so obviously the song is full of gang vocals. This is a song I can imagine getting a huge sing-along at a gig. Friends stood, arms round one another screaming at the top of their lungs "Cause We're Getting Drunk Before We Go Out Drinking!" The penultimate song on the album is Stop Calling Us Chief. Yet another wonderful sing-along song this time packed with some great harmonies. The gang vocals on this album are probably a very big part of my love for it. It's a party album, and the best parties involve everyone coming together to have the best time. The album and party is concluded with Kathie Lee & Hoda. There is more of a thoughtful feel to this song, asking questions about how do you carry on with living your life despite nothing seemingly going your way. It's good to hear Pkew Pkew Pkew play a more serious song than another about drinking and partying. Nice to see a tiny piece of range in the songwriting.

Every now and then a band comes out of nowhere and puts out an album that takes your breath away. It's fast paced, it's loud, it's fun, it makes you smile and you can't help but shout along with every single song. It got me pumped up, it got me excited. It reminded me just how much I love pop punk. Not all music has to be super serious, it can be about having fun and stupid times with your best friends.

Stream and download the album here:

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