Peaness – I’ll give you a moment to giggle over that, we’re going to need your full attention – have just dropped their debut EP, No Fun, and it’s somewhat of a doozie. The Chester-based Grrrl-pop trio play, in their own words, “grungy, punky, surfy, poppy stuff”, which serves as a fairly apt description; they’re the bodacious bedfellows of Courtney Barnett, Alvvays and to some extent Best Coast. Except instead of sun, sand and sea they’ve settled for inclement weather and the River Dee. However, as opener ‘Summer Song’ goes to prove, this only adds to their intensity.
Coursing surf-lines, handclaps and sweet, Siamese-tight harmonies build to what shall be described from here on out as the definitive ‘Pea-pop’ chorus: A chorus so catchy it should come with a sign or symbol warning of potential addiction.
Pulling no punches and pointing fingers, the radio-hungry hit-seeking missile ‘Fortune Favours The Bold’ is next up, and it is clear to see why it has turned so many onto Peaness. It’s spirited and, yes it is sweet, but beneath the indie-pop sheen it’s a brash, rough and rousing expression of irritation against, well quite a lot of things: relationships, Politics, our modern condition and trying to further understand things/people when you should probably just leave them alone. “I need to think and not talk”, “We’re not living, we’re just existing” and “fitted suits and shiny shoes” – these lyrics are simple to understand and performed in such a way they come across as piercing and personal on a rather universal level.
Following the 3 minute, indie-pop-powerhouse pattern that starts to arise throughout No Fun, ‘I’m Not Your Problem’ follows next, hinting at some of the attitude n’ venom of Scot two-piece Honeyblood and presenting arguably the strongest, swaggering Pea-pop chorus of the EP. ‘Noone’ then thrashes its way into view; here the Courtney Barnett comparisons are obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive as the spiring cry of the chorus kicks in. The EP’s finest moment arrives at the end of ‘Noone’, as the innocently intoned declaration, “You told me I could be someone”, is pointedly dashed by a churning guitar blare from the sidelines, that bares its head like some burly, unruly audible metaphor.
Iggy Pop sang it once before, Johnny Rotten retched it up a couple of times, as if it was to be exorcised on contact with air, and now Peaness are here chanting “No Fun” all over again. Replete with all the indignation and thrill needed to make it actually worth listening to. If anybody’s going to tell you how hard it is to know what to take notice of nowadays, it’s these gals. In-between all the white noise, here is something worth tuning in to.
No Fun is now available via bandcamp.