The major label system can be quite a bitch -- just ask Primitive Radio
Gods. Following the runaway success of their first single, "Standing
Outside of a Broken Phone Booth (with money in my hand)" and their
subsequent debut album Rocket the band caught a raw deal on
more than one occasion. Label mergers, label collapses and all that
other crap nobody ever talks about -- it all happened to them on at
least one occasion. Four years down the road, the Primitive Radio Gods have finally gotten around to
releasing Rocket's follow-up.
The terms of White Hot Peach's release are interesting in their own right. In lieu of
a massive barrage of little plastic cases stacked to infinity in your
local record shop, the band has decided to release the album, at least
for the time being, as a free MP3 download from their own website (or via
the notorious MP3 dumping ground that is Napster). It's an attempt
to test the album's viability in today's oversaturated, cuddly pop
fixated market. Luckily for them, the Primitive Radio Gods have the
tunes to cover their bet.
White Hot Peach displays a precise and inventive nature that has a lot in common with Guided By Voices' Do the
Collapse. Originally titled Mellotron On!, this is as fully realized a pop rock album as you
could ask for. Whereas lead singer/songwriter Chris O'Connor recorded Rocket by himself in his friend's garage, White Hot Peach is a fully collaborative effort. Capitalizing on the full band format, O'Connor has expanded the group's sound to
include subtle electronics, sampling and densely layered sounds.
"Devil's Triangle", for instance, is a full-bore rocker with multi-tracked guitars and
fantastic drumming, while "Skin Job" is a sensitive, acoustic
guitar-driven ballad that screams "radio hit". "Motor
of Joy" and "Whatever Makes McCool" utilize samples and odd dialogue
snippets to create an otherworldly ambience that's ghastly, yet oddly
I hope that a new generation of music
fans is willing to embrace the off-kilter rock stylings of The Primitive
Radio Gods. If you're looking for proof that the major label man can't hold a good band down, check out
White Hot Peach.