Alleys & Pierre
Running Around Records
Release date January 3, 2016
This one starts with the artwork for me. I’ve stared at it over and over and wondered repeatedly who is the terrier and who is the owl? My guess is Alleys with as they have the more introspective style of the two would be the owl while Pierre’s feisty bark would be the terrier. Though Pierre’s first track is called birdhouse. Regardless, this album's art is excellent and sets the tones nicely for what is to come.
Alleys from Buffalo, New York kick things off with the frustratingly short “I Can’t Reach My Hospital Socks (Thaw Me Out)”. This song is just over two minutes and peaks literally at the last second. It’s a mathy twinkly song that starts yelling for the last thirty seconds. When singer Alex is yelling “I’m sorry it turned out this way” over a bare guitar/bass/hi-hat bed at the end of the song it makes me feel cold and frozen. Their second track “Jazz Cigarettes” follows a more traditional song structure and adds keyboards into the mix. These songs are excellent examples of modern dark post-punk/math rock. Fans of Engine Down or Q and Not U will enjoy Alleys.
Pierre is definitely a more aggressive punk band when compared with Alleys. This Minneapolis, Minnesota-based band opens up with “Birdhouse” a snarly garagey punk jam that makes me think of Fugazi. “Left in the Sea” is more melodic, but still features the same aggressive vocals. If I were to compare Pierre to The Break I wouldn’t feel like I was too far off. They are about to/recently have played a Nirvana tribute set, so that should give you a picture of what Pierre’s is all about.
All in all, these four songs are excellent. These two bands both provide an exciting picture of what they can make with their contributions. Give this one some time on your turntable, it won’t let you down.
Reviewed by: Rob 1340