Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Peer Group-Rhetoric and Hands 7"; 1981, via Water Under the Bridge Records, 2013

Water Under the Bridge's Peer Group web page suggests that the listener not take their recent 7" release by the San Pedro group "too seriously", but Disaster Amnesiac does want to at least treat it with a modicum of attention, seeing as that I enjoy it a lot.
The 1981 recordings presented on it show a group pretty obviously influenced by then-current goings on, and by that I mean the musical ferment, post-Punk Rock.
One can hear it in the scratchy, skatchey guitar playing of Gary Jacobelly as he lays it down during the verses of the tunes. He gets plenty of time to do some great Psych explorations within solo action on tunes of longer duration, such as Neuron Suite and Box of Words. Disaster Amnesiac hears traces of Roland S. Howard, Marc Riley, and Jacobelly's fellow Pedran, D. Boon, in his terse riffing and max-ed out treble heavy soloing.
Bass player Lina Sedillo's plectrum plucking provides most of the melodic action throughout, especially on tracks such as Bromide and the surreal French blast of Lon Chaney. Her simple style works really well within Peer Group's Punk Rock, and she keeps things moving while Jacobelly explores the contours of his sound.
Locked in with Sedillo is Mike Hurley. While he does at one point do the Hardcore Polka on Eating Out (and even sounds pretty expressive there), his repetitive beats on Xmas in Purgatory and Iconoclast Youth, with their closed high hat snap and crisp snare rolls, give the band a nice rhythmic undertow while still feeling alive and vital, concerns that were still relevant within the underground scene of that time, concerns owed to the aesthetic reassessments of the 1970's Punk Rock and those sounds that came in its wake.
The lyrics, generally dealing with matters from the existential (Box of Words) to the mundane (Eating Out), are delivered in a kind of spoken manner by Jimmy Otter. Again, Disaster Amnesiac hears contemporary influences, such as Mark E. Smith and Bob Schick of Honor Role (would that have been possible?), but it's a kick to hear Otter's SoCal regional accent and inflections as he spiels.
So, yes, I agree, don't take it too seriously. However, if you want to hear some fine, expressive Punk Rock, made within one of the best music scenes then going, do seek out Rhetoric and Hands.


Pig State Recon said...

With this post, Pig State Recon officially passes you the torch. Disaster Amnesiac, you are now the official old-guy blog concerning any and all new/old South Bay punker action. Do continue, and make me proud.

(Oh and "Pedran" is a wonderful term. I will start using it from today.)

Mark Pino said...

HA!!! OK!