April 26, 2007

Among the front-runners in the current class of Brooklyn hopefuls to transform from starving artists to rock and roll phenomena are Red Hook’s Pela. They’ve had the songs (How did “Diphenhydramine” or “Venom” not make the Garden State Soundtrack?), the charismatic good-looks of dashingly handsome next-door types (I never ran into them while living in Red Hook, believe me I looked…), and now a promising debut album.

Their album, Anytown Graffiti, was released on Tuesday with a sold out record release show at the Mercury Lounge in the East Village. The band exploded into their opening number, “Waiting on the Stairs,” and then soared through the rest of their set never looking back. The band continues onward with a US tour for the next month or so and end with a two night stint back at the Mercury Lounge. (Buy your tickets now: when they get back, they may be famous.)

The quality of the record itself stands out amongst a strong season of indie-rock releases, and you really should pick it up… now. (If you thought their EP All in Time was good, you have no idea.) Billy McCarthy is as passionate and emotive as any singer today, armed with raspy melody, lyrical wit and occasional falsetto beauty. Their songs combine the indie-pop/rock sensibility of the Pixies with occasional Edge-styled reverb-laden guitar work and cues taken from some of the excellent post-punk/hardcore bands such as Jawbox, Chamberlain and Compound Red.

Sure, the work here is mature, but hell, the kids are gonna like it too. Pela can’t stay a secret forever, so here they come. Pela’s debut full length album, Anytown Graffiti, is out now on Great Society.

Listen: Lost to the Lonesome from Anytown Graffiti.


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