Moving Target - The Peawees (Rum Bar Records/Wild Honey)
Let’s see. It’s been 18 years since I first heard a Peawees record and this is Album Number Six. The Italian combo from scenic La Spezia by the sea has been kicking out pop-punk jams since the mid-‘90s. Despite having only one constant member in guitarist-vocalist Hervé Peroncini, they sound pretty much like they did way back when.
There's something to be said for longevity in rock and roll. Perhaps there's a clue to The Peawees' secret in the album title. One thing The Peawees haven't done down the years is stand still, and there's enough stylistic variation on this album to keep things interesting.
It's not all about the Ramones. The bar room boogie of "Reason Why" or the Jam-like rush of opener "Walking Through My Hell" are proof enough. If that double-punch to the solar plexus doesn't get you gasping for air, you're a corpse.
"Moving Target" is full of revved-up pop with guitar tones turned to gritty. There's also energy, lots of hooks and scarcely anything to offend anyone. If you wanna gaze at your shoes or cry me a river full of designer Gothic eyeliner, try elsewhere.
The band is good. Peroncini is a skilled songwriter with an agreeable, journeyman's voice that works whatever he's singing. The slinky "Justify", for example, is a pop ear-wig that his publisher could flog to one of those vacuous auto-tuned mainstream American mega-stars to make a mess of - and earn him a billion lira into the deal.
"As Long As You Can Sleep" is another pop pearl that's wrapped in ragged harmonica and propelled by Tommy Gonzalez's powerhouse drumming.
There are 10 songs and none of them grate - or challenge the grey matter for that matter. There's no message in "Moving Target" other than "pop your cork and have a good time". Not that there's anything wrong with that.