Colossous : The PeakzCEG Records : 18.05.2018
The Peakz is a collection of DIY pop and punk songs recorded by Rich Eardley and cohorts between 2005 - 2010. His main band Melys was moribund at the time - so Eardley recorded with Ed Oleszko on guitar / vocals and Deian Elfryn (allegedly drums / partying, and also associated with Melys), whilst he took bass and vocal duties.
The first track of the collection recorded, Conway Valley Love (which is a timepiece of new wave pop), was featured on John Peel's radio show just before he died - an apt signifier, as the roots of these songs would be fully found in an earlier time when Peel was a minor deity and the NME was an essential weekly religious tract. The small-town-but-universal lyrical themes of love, loss and obsession fit that period too.
There are some great songs in the set.
Devil Eyes' fast, jagged trashy punk-pop has been used as the soundtrack to a Hotwheels YouTube clip and has been heard three million times, Say You Know Me punches at the start like Elvis Costello used to, before sneerily rocking itself into a state and Seeds might seem throwaway in its subject matter, but that belies a proper old-time rock kick. Meanwhile Platform 9 is punkpoptastic and The Antidote soars on chiming guitar. For all the excitement elsewhere the slow rolling, melancholy disappointment condensed into The Girl You'd Have to See to Believe is an undoubted highlight, as is the plaintive Die For You.
But, however perfect individual tracks might be, it is the total sum of the parts that strikes home. You just can't sit still whilst this is on; all the songs are held together by the vivid, scuffed energy of the guitar, bass and drums, and it is impossible to ignore as it animates first your tapping feet and then your dancing limbs. More than just being the electrified sound of the suburbs, The Peakz is the growl of three North Wales' musicians joyously getting their post-teenage musical kicks.
Resolutely and gloriously lo-fi, this is an album The Replacements pre-Don't Tell a Soul might have made had they spent their time loafing in Llandudno and snogging in Snowdonia, and rather than forgetting to take out the trash in Minneapolis. If that is a hard state of affairs to imagine, then just have a listen: