VIDEO: PJP's new LP is A-OK
PJP BAND – the great white hopes of South West rock – release their long-awaited debut album And So It Goes on June 3.
However, from Monday as a special thank you to local fans, PJP Band will be releasing a very early pre-release double-12" vinyl (2 x 45 rpm, 180 gram platters) of the album in a quality gatefold sleeve.
This vinyl version will only be available in the South West with a limited run of 250 copies. The 13-track double-vinyl will include five unheard tracks plus live favourites Karm & Condition, I Am A Racer and Sweet Tokyo.
Each record will include a download code also, to enable fans to get their hands on a digital version of And So It Goes once it is officially released. The vinyl will be available to buy in local indie record stores and via www.thepjpband.com
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And So It Goes is a very local affair. The Launceston-born and now Plymouth-based PJP Band recorded the debut with producer Pete Miles (The King Blues, Sonic Boom 6, We Are The Ocean, Dry The River) near Totnes. Also featured on the album are Plymouth's blues guitar maestro Vince Lee, Becca Langsford and Cornish composer and brass wunderkind Simon Dobson.
If you have one of those newly fashionable gramophones, I urge you to buy the vinyl version in order to hear this thrilling selection of songs as soon as possible.
I've championed Patrick James Pearson (the PJP in question) since he emerged fully formed as a one-man keyboard-bashing punkified Bowie neophyte in 2009.
He wrongfooted fans by then forming a trio – now a quartet with added guitar – and taking his demon-wrestling songs down a far more hard-hitting route.
The album starts with crazed polemic before Disciplines punches your face while tweaking your nipples – a song of defiance, its shout of "We are a mountain top / You can't bring us down without an avalanche" could be PJP's credo.
Pearson spits in the eyes of pigeonholes – you could call his music hardcore, but he is too much of a quality songwriter and the tunes too big to fit into that limited genre.
Might Or Moses is a poppier affair which ends in an almost samba groove. PJP's voice is the central instrument here and throughout; a wired almost theatrical croon selling astute if veiled lyrics like Situationist slogans writ large.
Olé, We Ain't Prey is no relation to Bowie's I Pray Olé, although the music does resemble the grand dame's Scary Monsters era at times. The irresistible terrace chant chorus, once in your head, will never be dislodged. As anthemic as prime-time Arcade Fire.
New single Vicious Luck is a new wave belter with evil synths; a lovely burst of Stranglers-like Hammond organ adds to the feeling of sneering malevolence.
It's followed by former single I Am A Racer, which now sounds like the planet-sized hit it, criminally, wasn't ... but could be yet. As fitting a driving tune as PJP has in his canon.
Sweet Tokyo is the one song salvaged from his solo days – Elton John de-wigged and flogged. If it all goes tits up for Pearson, tunes like this show he could plant a musical bomb on Broadway.
Next up is Karm & Condition, a boisterous Sixties-indebted garage rocker with added mariachi trumpet; Lust For Life's naughty younger brother.
The Chalk Divide demonstrates the depth of PJP's songwriting talent, being totally different from what's gone before – a ragged Dylan-esque class war ballad with the sort of raw textures that would make Cobain proud.
A mournful organ plays throughout Stone Cold Cinema – Pearson's open-throated roar during the song's close is spellbinding.
On first listen Long Time Runner feels like an also-ran but wait for the crescendo. Oh my ....
This long but cohesive album continues with So It Goes, the one track which bears the hallmarks of one of his key influences, At The Drive-In. A musical kick to the solar plexus with added time signature changes to keep you on your feet.
The truly rousing collection ends with EMBRACEHER, which starts as a Tin Pan Alley piano ditty and builds with a gospel slow-burn.
This calling card for a major talent should take PJP and his band far from the confines of the South West.
You can see the PJP Band on Friday, March 15 at B-Side, Bunters, Truro with Black Tambourines, Saturday, March 16 at the Studio Bar, Penzance and Friday, March 29 at Carriers, Bude.
For more details and videos see www.thepjpband.com and www.youtube.com/user/thepjpband
As part of Cornish promoter Duelling Kazoos' pop-up arts fair at Toast in Falmouth on Wednesday, March 13, there will be a chance to hear the album.