Toronto punk- rockers Pkew Pkew Pkew once revolved their music around the enjoyable chaos of mosh pits and the classic early-20s punk lifestyle. It’s been three since the release of their self titled debut and now the quartet are back with an alternative view on the world, summed up in the form of sophomore record Optimal Lifestyles.
The massive 15-track album is packed full of speedy anthems that prove to be easy listening and enjoyable from start-to-finish. There is a matured style of songwriting evident here that showcases a massive leap for the group musically from what they’ve explored previously.
Tracks such as previously released single ‘I Don’t Matter At All’ battles the hard truth of reality and the process of coming to terms with a society, city and industry that increasingly doesn’t seem to care about the people. The song is an upbeat succession of retro sounds and modern punk influences that sets the tone for the remainder of the album.
They waste no time and overflow every second with sounds and energy that just can’t be tamed. ’Point Break’ holds no prisoners with backing vocals and brass accompaniments taking the song around the world and back again in just a minute and a half. Sure, they’ve grown up since previous releases but songs such as ‘Point Break’ and ‘Passed Out’ goes to show that the group are not slowing down anytime soon.
They take the time to slow it down with ‘Everything’s The Same’, featuring beautiful piano incorporation. The simplicity relates to such others as Frank Turner or The Gaslight Anthem and stands as a peaceful addition to the high-speed variants included in the album.
There’s a lot to enjoy with Pkew Pkew Pkew and their latest addition to their catalogue; they have constructed concise tracks that simply get to the point and do what they are intended without any added flowery extras. Optimal Lifestyles shows that this approach suits the four-piece very well and will surely benefit them going forward.
Optimal Lifestyles is out March 1st via Big Scary Monsters (UK) and Dine Alone Records (US/Canada)