Pearly - Demo
Tim Miller 12/10/2005
Unsigned outfit Pearly have been knocking around patiently since 2002, but it's just recently in 2005 that things have been hotting up for the London based four piece. Their new recording Escape Trick, a 6 track demo-cum-EP, sees the band pulling out all the stops to ensure that the 'Pearly sound' is well and truly captured, and now they await the reaction from those such as this harsh cynic of a reviewer.
The title track commences the EP, with a major-key riff borrowing more than a little from those juiceboxters, the Strokes. When vocalist William Adnams starts singing, it seems a mixture of Julian Casablancas and Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos. Adnams' gentle yet assured vocals compliment the guitar backing, a sound which is softer round the edges than Franz et al, rather like a comfortable musical brain cushion. Next track The Cockroach Soul is sunnier and laid back, yet still upbeat, reminiscent of Weezer's Island in the Sun.
The EP hits a snag with third track Faultline, as Adnams approaches his vocals with much more aggression than previously. Unfortunately, no one remembered to tell the rest of the band, whose pop-rock accompaniment fails to support Adnams in his distress. The swaggering, blues driven Dirty Mouth follows this, a simple enough track with improvised lead guitar and Adnams quavering a mock Southern USA drawl as he proclaims: “I'm gonna get drunk in the city!”. Despite maybe choosing an odd track to show it, Pearly prove they can make the transition from studio to live performance.
The final third of the EP sees Pearly going all acoustic on the listener, both Uneven and Hangman's Hood featuring vocals backed by guitars only. The morose
Western-esque Uneven features sliding guitar refrains and the melancholy surrounding it all suggests elements of Radiohead. Finally, Hangman's Hood closes the EP with one of the strongest tracks here, which may be just Adnams on his own with his guitar. Being as it is almost an exact replica of the Red Hot Chili's Road Trippin', the softly spoken vocals, poignant chorus and melodic picked guitar mix together to create a haunting song of real beauty.
Pearly clearly show promise, and in a variety of areas, but they have it all to do in 2006 to grind their way into the big-time. At times, Pearly sound too shy to make it that far, but maybe with a festival appearance and tour planned for this year, Pearly will become one of those bands that is an acquired taste, their music and success thriving instead in underground legend of doting fans and intimate live performances.