Anytown Graffiti | Great Society
By SHARON STEEL  |  June 5, 2007
3.5 3.5 Stars
It was wise of the Brooklyn-based four-piece to list on their bio the American short-story master Raymond Carver as one of their influences, wedged in between Hüsker Dü and the Replacements. Carver was a minimalist writer, and just as he made a name for himself packing a quiet desolation into his well-groomed sentences, Pela raise the bar for passionate, arena-ready indie rock. Anytown Graffiti is a debut that feels as if it had already outgrown the small clubs and dive-like venues where it will be played. Nobody is drinking heavily in Pela’s lyrics, as most of Carver’s protagonists do by habit. But vocalist William McCarthy worries about people standing around “like a ghost in my room” and notices someone’s “small-town stare,” and he navigates various missed connections. In other words, Anytown Graffiti would provide a fine aural background to a imaginary character’s disillusioned suffering. Pela can make a miserable situation seem impressive, with guitars luxuriating in an early U2 mirage and McCarthy sing-choking his words as though he couldn’t bear to let them go. “I know why you left,” he wails on “Song Writes Itself.” “I think it’s best you get far away.” If more bands wrote music that sounded like fiction, they might deliver results aspleasurable as this.

Pela + Brakes, Brakes, Brakes + Electric Soft Parade + Static of the Gods | T.T. the Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge | June 14 | 617.492.BEAR
Related: Lucky number seven, Jindabyne, Less is best, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , U2, Husker Du, Raymond Carver,  More more >
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