The Debut of Peel | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Debut of Peel

Peel's debut is an indie snob's dream, earning comparisons to Pavement, Stereolab, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and others. Airplay continues from tastemaker stations KCRW, KEXP and WRAS. Band reveals that name is homage to legendary DJ. "If Richard Linklater ever documents 21st century urban malaise, someone should slip him some Peel." – The Austin Chronicle

"In the tradition of the Pixies and Pavement, Austin noise-pop quartet Peel's debut album subverts its catchy pop tunes with slatherings of lo-fi tape grot, feedback, tape loops and needling keyboards in the manner of Brian Eno's contributions to early Roxy Music. Singing guitarists Josh Permenter and Dakota Smith have the whole Stephen Malkmus can't-be-bothered mumble down cold, and songs like "Bells" and "Workers, Wake Up!" have the lysergic pop rush of classic Elephant 6 tunes."- All Music Guide

"Austin has a deep commitment to the slacker ethic, which, despite a common misconception, isn't an enervate impulse. The slacker doesn't lack drive but rather is so overwhelmed with the paradoxical possibilities of boredom that embracing purposelessness becomes an ethical imperative. Enter Peel. The local quartet's self-titled debut is a sonic slacker treatise and call to (in)action. The album's an urban sprawl of restlessness that delights in a crashing din – horns, keys, big guitars, and bigger backbeats – all competing with fervently shouted vocals for a wonderfully pointless crescendo. Opener "Oxford" bounces with unbridled energy and disgust, as does the anthemic "In the City." "Sliding Doors" works Rolling Stones indifference across bluesy riffs, while "Tejax" and the Pynchon-esque paranoia of "1949" display Josh Permenter's lyrical penchant for premier slackers Pavement. If Richard Linklater ever documents 21st century urban malaise, someone should slip him some Peel." - The Austin Chronicle

Summery. Rousing. Stylish. Playful. Fun. Boisterous. These are some of the words used by the influential All Music Guide to describe Peel's self-titled debut. Pavement. Stereolab. Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Roxy Music. The Pixies. The Hold Steady. These are some of the bands critics have mentioned in reviews of the record. So basically, what we're saying is that these wild and crazy kids in Peel have gone and made a highly enjoyable record that is essentially impossible for even the biggest indie rock connoisseur to resist. Whether it was the band's intention or not, Peel has placed itself in the company of some of the most critically praised indie favorites of our generation.

That's not to say that Peel doesn't put its own spin on the rowdy brand of noise pop in which it chooses to indulge. With classically trained pianist Allison Moore managing multiple keyboards, country music fan Dakota Smith giving Peel its twang and lefty-ruling-right-handed-guitar Josh Permenter, the members of the group definitely set themselves apart from the masses.

Moore muses, "It's really weird when people do long winded comparisons to bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or The Islands, or most hysterically (in some review), claim that my songwriting is 'definitively influenced by Architecture in Helsinki,'" says Moore. "I've never even listened to those bands. I have no idea what that article even means!"

Tastemaker stations across the country such as KCRW in Los Angeles, KEXP in Seattle and WRAS in Atlanta have been broadcasting songs from Peel's self-titled debut across their airwaves. Songs like "In the City", "Bells" and "Workers Wake Up" have proven to be station favorites.

During SXSW, internet based station WOXY set up camp at EAR Studios in Austin. During the interview with the station, it was revealed that choosing the name Peel was the band's way of paying homage to the late influential DJ John Peel, who resided in Texas during part of his career. WOXY tells the members of Peel that it found them the "old-fashioned way", through the internet, offering further evidence that sites like MySpace have become crucial in breaking new bands.

As far as Austin pride goes, Peel has plenty of it. The members gush about how they love being based there because the city is a tight-knit community that has the benefits and culture of a big city. There's a huge sense of connection, and every year there is a new influx of young people that are willing to go out to shows and check out live bands. There is also no shortage of venues, or bands to play with, as keyboardist Allison Moore points out. Moore actually shares a house with Jared from another Austin buzz band, Voxtrot, and says, "You should see our house... it's ridiculous. We're both keyboardists, and I think there's literally like 14 different organs, synthesizers, and types of keyboards/pianos in our house." Moore has been known to play at least three of those keyboards on stage at once and jokes that she actually has three hands. Stream them here

Peel Live:

*w/ The Octopus Project
**w/ Page France

05/11 Austin, TX Emo's
06/02 Austin, TX Emo's *
06/08 Denton, TX Hailey's
06/13 Wilmington, NC Bella Festa
06/14 Washington, DC The Black and the Red**
06/20 Fort Wayne, IN The Firehouse
06/21 Chicago, IL The Darkroom

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