Petesimple dare to web a busy mix of jazz and roots Americana, with blues and jam-band flavors around florid vocals, with horns, keys, guitars and a kinetic rhythm section offering all sorts of urban indie and alternative rock combinations that no one really expects on the first listen. This discovery will make you realize, how vast and rich music is outside of mainstream radio, a lesson you will soon be digesting, on the band’s 8 track album, “Petesimple 21”. The band got its start in early 1999 at the University of Houston and usually plays in and around Houston, Texas. The album title alludes to the amount of years Petesimple has officially been around.
Petesimple is locked-in rhythmically, harmonically and melodically, and showcase an overall finesse, but still deliver raw bite, edge, and grit when needed. The musicianship of the band is outstanding.
The songwriting, the lyrics and indeed the singing take you on a wonderful musical journey. Every song is rich, full and exciting. Right from the start on “Thinking Song”, Petesimple show off their jazzy poise and restrain, making the acoustically dominated cut into an easy listening experience.
“Ma Cheri” is where the vocal is like another musical instrument, as the band gently wrap their music around the singer’s voice. Throughout this album, the Pete Lippincott alters the timing and pitch of his delivery to perfectly suit each song.
You’ll absolutely adore the combination of the strummed rhythm and Pete’s resonant vocals on the up-tempo swing of “Song To Bring You Home”. Lippincott and company continue to impress on the mid-tempo ballad “Leaving You Wanting More”.
Petesimple smartly blend the soulful intensity of the vocals, with the poignancy of the horns, and the free-flowing rhythms of the smooth basslines and solid percussion. The intensity is stepped up a notch on the crunchy “Howl”, where dirty guitar chords invade the beat-driven arrangement.
It makes for yet another refreshing sonic turn. The momentum is maintained on the foot-tapping “Scuttle and the Rain”. Per usual, the gang play it tight, play it right, and create beauty within the elation of sheer musicianship.
“Wibn and Mott – Live” is exactly what the title describes – Petesimple bandleader, Pete Lippincott captured in a stripped down, acoustic, two-song live performance. The album closes with “Mott (Remix)”, a more complex, elaborated and thoroughly fleshed-out version of the song, where each musician gets to shine beautifully.
There’s no doubt that Petesimple has an incredibly original sound, complete with top notch drumming, slinky bass lines, powerful vocals, sweeping guitars, and soothing horns.
The tremendous enjoyment of listening to this album, is an indication that Petesimple did everything right on “Petesimple 21”. Ten years in the works, the album is the band’s first fully realized statement, in recent times, and showcases what they are all about.
Each track has its own greatness, character and strength. You could listen to them time and time again, and never get bored. I would strongly recommend this album to fans of the band, and for those who are attempting to get into some new music with substance.