From Desperate Times Comes Radical Minds
Damage Done Records
12 September 2011
By Ryan Williams
Pettybone are a band with a point to prove. It would be easy to focus on the fact these four punks from wildly divergent backgrounds (a Czech, a Londoner, a German and a Cornish) are women but there’s more to it than being massively patronising. This album is punk as fuck.
The first minute of this, their debut album, is something of a manifesto as singer, Amy Bajeski declares the band “the voice of the voiceless” and “The Sound Of The Revolt”. However, From Desperate Times Comes Radical Minds is a far from revolting sound. Further to the fact it sounds excellent due to being mixed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, it’s a deliciously thought provoking listen as well.
Obvious comparisons will abound to the likes of Brody Dalle and Courtney Love when discussing Bejeski’s vocals but there’s a harsher edge to it all. There’s nothing close to the palatable on much of the album. There’s scorched earth left behind every line of ‘Le Regard’, for instance and ‘C.O.W (Conspiracy of Women)’ is just as furious. You know that every spat out word matters.
The tumultuous ‘Oh! I Love You, Say It With Cobblestones!’ is almost strangely relaxing at points before anxiety reigns supreme in the claustrophobic ‘Breaking Away’. Variations include an interesting cover of The Clash’s ‘Justice Tonight’, blues-fuelled slow jam ‘Northern Line’ and the unexpected instrumental outro track, ‘The Blues Song’ but it’s the power of their original material that remains Pettybone’s strong point.
Pettybone have put together half an hour of excellent punk rock with From Desperate Times Comes Radical Minds. It’s well worth listening to what Pettybone have got to say because there’s every chance that they’re going to start a revolution.
Sounds like: The Distillers, Gallows, Black Flag
Top tracks: C.O.W,
Guitar solo rating: 3/6 – the bass gets a special mention here