Listen to TERRA NOVA
In June 2013, the story was tentatively about some willfully obscure 80s underground act returning out of the black with brand new songs. Then the story changed. The Pedaljets have returned with a remarkable album, a real album, with variations on a theme—sometimes Heaven and Hell, other times Past and Present, then Love lost and Loneliness, all broken up, broken and back together again. It’s a kind of gunpowder—jagged punk occasionally shaded with delicate vocals, the variable sparseness of a dark, dank garage, and then the unexpected vicissitudes of guts, glory, and a romantic forgetfulness that’s been mixed up like saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur. Basic chemistry.
Here’s a little of what the press has been saying about their remarkable new album, What's in Between:
“Salvoes of high-powered melodic punk, laced with Beatles harmonies…prove affirmative and energizing with hard-won wisdom at the core.” Uncut 8/10
“Blogged this earlier...now the review, up yesterday at Blurt. I gave it four stars, which is about as high as I go...totally enjoyable...” 4/5 Jennifer Kelly of Blurt on her 30 Seconds Over Blogspot
“This cruel unjust world will likely never give this band their deserved appreciation. The romantic in me would like to think The Pedaljets don’t give a fuck. 9 out of 10.” Earbuddy
Originating in Lawrence, Kansas in 1984, the Pedaljets returned to the studio in late 2009. Original Pedaljet lead guitarist Phil Wade was unavailable, so Paul Malinowski (bass player for Midwest rock titans, Shiner and Season to Risk) assumed second guitar duties, as well as performing all recording/engineering. The album was mixed by John Agnello (Okkervil River, Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., etc.) at Headgear Studios, Brooklyn. You can hear the results! Packaged in the inventive design-work of The Sea and Cake’s Archer Prewitt, each song is at once vintage Midwest in-your-face rock and a totally new approach to what is timeless, resonant and beyond conventional formulaic alternative pop and rock. The guys have learned something after all these years. What the hell…
From their beginning, the Pedaljets toured the country nonstop, often opening for the likes of Hüsker Dü, Flaming Lips, The Replacements, Meat Puppets, and other usual suspects of 1980s alternative/punk America, releasing two albums—Today Today (1988) and Pedaljets (1989), both albums receiving solid national attention and acclaim, even though the band felt the latter was rushed and unfinished. After six years of almost nonstop touring, and born out of disappointment with that second album, the Pedaljets disbanded in July 1990. Ironically, at the time they broke up, the Pedaljets’ flag was flying higher than ever, the band packing out clubs around the country and appearing on MTV—when MTV still had music videos.
Tentatively resurfacing in 2006, the band discovered that the tapes from the second album were salvageable so, over the course of a year working with engineer Paul Malinowski, the album was completely retooled. Re-recruiting original designer Archer Prewitt for the artwork and working with local label Oxblood Records, the story had come full circle. The LP was rereleased in 2008, MOJO featuring the lead track “Giants Of May” on its playlist: “Grungy country supplied by a Kansas City band that set out to make an album many years ago but only just got around to completing the task. You’ll be glad they did.”
With smartly written, properly enigmatic scuzzy pop/punk/rock in tow, the Pedaljets have returned. Yes, it's kind of nice, don't you think? Also, be sure to check out the remarkable animation on their "Terra Nova" video and get your booty ready for an EP in spring 2014, as well as SXSW in March. U.S. and European tours will be announced after the first of the year.