It's not hard to have fun with Peachy Keen. The name alone hints at their deeply imbedded perkiness. And with an EP entitled "Backseat Bingo", you can assume a theatrical carousal of good times, with all the intimate sexual underlying bells and whistles it suggests. This isn't rock 'n' roll with the intellectual Bob Dylan figure in mind, as much as it's about relationships' emotional complexities tossed and thrown like cheap whiskey down a teddy boy's throat. Either post break-up or before hitting on that fine-looking minx standing at the bar - who will inevitably tear your heart apart.
However, with this in mind, Peachy Keen is a duo female-fronted band - judging by their tattoos, the sort that prefers men with V8s and hairy chests. Their overall vibe does make it seem that the world is only inhabited by one sexual orientation: straight. And that the best and worst of life takes place between the opening hours of an all-American saloon, and the ups and downs in the back seat of a Camaro (cough).
Depending on whether you care to view it as a positive or a negative, the sound is very much Fratellis, with Franz Ferdinand indie influences, the latter of which they do live covers. The first track, Do I Have To Explain?, starts with an organ and follows with snare drum ticks and taps like a nervous twitch, and stand-up bass that doesn't twang but hums soothingly throughout.
A seductive tease
Most of the rhythm gives way to guitar solos, the kind that only come once in a lifetime, and unplanned vocals that come from the heart. Both things you can only experience live and will want to, which is exactly what makes this EP a seductive tease. And it's the same under and throughout, including a cover of The Beatles' Oh! Darling.
The lyrics are very much like the beliefs spewed and gently caressed by a certain American typecast female, who's attractive, worldly smart and tattooed. The type that will make you believe that you don't need a cock or a man to change the world, and that those two things are best reserved for the bedroom and committed romantic relationships.
Women can nod and agree, men can wallow or beg to disagree, and teenage boys who want to become wiser with the female of the species can have a closer listen. Alternatively, we can all just down a shot of Peachy Keen's sponsored Sailor Jerry rum and boogie. The latter being what the five-piece are known for.
The jewel on this six-track release is, no doubt, track three - Don't Call Me Baby. The pop-friendly nursery rhyme piano intro, reminiscent of The Rolling Stones' She's a Rainbow, soon gives way to a chunky, thick blues ballad that breaks and ends with an optimistic one-two punk beat delivered with quick up and downward riffs. It really is the kind of song that can be ruined upon finding out it's not based on a true story.
Now if only, like the heyday of American 50s' rockabilly, it was cool to smoke, then I would suggest the band investing in some Lucky Strike filter cigarettes. Some morning-after raspy-ness wouldn't hurt. Think Janis Joplin. If they do already, well good on them.
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