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Phono Emergency Tool: Get The Pet

Phono Emergency Tool (or P.E.T. as they seem often shortened to) are an Italian trio who have a history stretching back over a decade, with songs featuring on compilations as long ago as 2003. Two years later and it was self-titled debut time, follow up Get Lost knowing exactly where it was in 2009. Five years on and they return with the striking spotted pig in Converse shoes emblazoned Get The Pet. Is that image a social comment? Well judging on the gently political, yet never preachy lyrics, I'd guess so.

Musically it's a little difficult to bring comparisons but not through uniqueness, rather that the merest glinting of everything from The Beatles to Talking Heads, through Spin Doctors and XTC springs to mind, before Pearl Jam, The Police or Soul Asylum all get a look in, prior to being quickly ushered along. There's a quirkiness in the way that only Europeans ever really manage and the lyrics are a little clunky in places. However rather than be a distraction, it actually becomes an endearing quality which adds to the smiling-snarl of the vocals and the disenchantment of the subject matter. As ever, the album actually becomes more hard hitting through keeping things light, while all the time carrying far more weight than you initially realise.

The chorus of "Blow Moulding Machine" is all the more seductive for the Italian accent it is delivered with, leaving you wondering if it is an intentional slip, as more often than not the words elsewhere are delivered pointedly and with little trace of a struggle. "Don't Stop Making Money" stutter stops on a guitar burst which is surprisingly catchy, "Farther" thrives on a bass excursion which happily flits up and down the frets with abandon, as an easy beat and vocal add to the levity, even if the lyric appears to be about disenchantment with religion. Throughout, drummer Marco Lama is a star, jaunty beats popping and dancing for all their worth, each of his frugal fills worth the wait and eagerly anticipated on repeat visits.

As so often happens, the real cream here is weighted towards the early songs of Get The Pet, "Five In Four" crammed with handclaps and cowbell, the main guitar motif scaling wildly, lending a sixties Pop feel with more grit. "On The Air" offers up The Hives at half speed, more likely to lounge than high-kick and twirl, opener "Floating So Fast" almost Punk-like but without the snot, spit, or anger (so not Punk then, but you get the idea). It hits hard, flitting about all over the place, while asking Lama to fill the little gaps with sublime tom and kick-drum rolls. He does not disappoint. Not everything comes off quite so superbly, not all of the lyrics hit their mark with precision, yet more often than not Get The Pet clicks neatly into place and when it does, the rewards are there for all to hear.

Track Listing
1. Floating So Fast
2. Five In Four
3. On The Air
4. Blow Moulding Machine
5. I Don't Belong
6. Hevo
7. Crimentology
8. Better Stay Home
9. Don't Stop Making Money
10. Farther
11. A Lower Life
12. Heyday

Added: March 10th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Phono Emergency Tool Online
Hits: 2401
Language: english

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