Under Review: Pernice Brothers – Goodbye, Killer

The return of the Pernice Brothers is a welcome thing, although its key player has remained quite active in the four years since Live A LittleJoe Pernice wrote It Feels So Good When I Stop, which was published in 2009, and released a set of songs to accompany the novel.  Now that Joe is reunited with his brother, Bob, the Pernice Brothers found the time to put together Goodbye, Killer, another in a long line of solid country-pop albums.  It’s important to note that Goodbye, Killer does not feature regular guitarist Peyton Pinkerton, whose fretwork would’ve added another layer of technical prowess to the already expertly-crafted new songs.  Opener “Bechamel” is a breezy, harmony-laced treat, and the following “Jacqueline Susann” is one of the more power-popping tunes that Pernice has produced in quite some years.  Most of Goodbye, Killer’s tracks are in a laid-back, midtempo mode akin to the Brothers’ last two albums, Discover A Lovelier You and the aforementioned Live A Little.  That’s not to suggest that the Brothers are treading water this time around, but they have definitely and comfortably grown into a signature sound.

Despite this lack of wide style-shifting, the songs on Goodbye, Killer are all brief enough to avoid weighing the album down.  “The Great Depression,” for example, finds Joe warbling a little during the tune’s falsetto chorus.  “Something For You,” the set’s longest song at just four minutes, also features some strained note-stretching but, like in “The Great Depression,” it’s all in the name of showing the Pernices’ devotion to their art.  That devotion is most explicitly explored in the rather hilarious “We Love The Stage,” where Joe recalls some less-than-perfect experiences from the road.  He shrugs all the under-attended shows and “smartass kids who shout out ‘Freebird’” as all being part of the lifestyle he loves.  While the Pernice Brothers have never been more than a cult- and critic-favorite band in their 13 years, the passion that drives the band through each of their endeavors thrives, no matter how big a crowd they’re playing to.

~ by E. on June 25, 2010.

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