ONE OF THE TRULY great bands of the late 80s, early 90s were That Petrol Emotion, who hailed from Ireland but had an American singer.
They were hard-hitting and uncompromising, with a indie-rock/ dance sound that mimicked the times. I retro-reviewed their high mark, Babble, here.
Four of that final line-up, Ciaran McLaughlin, Raymond Gorman, Brendan Kelly, and Damian O’Neill are now The Everlasting Yeah and their debut album, Anima Rising, is out now. Boy, do they like guitars.
Their signature sound is out-and-proud on the first chapter, A Little Bit of Uh-Huh and a Whole Lot of Oh Yeah, which is pretty much the lyrics and attitude rolled into one.
I can only imagine the scene at the venue: noise, noise, noise but not annoys, unless you’re a Jessie J fan who’s gotten lost. They let go, for eight glorious minutes, on Taking That Damn Train Again with the title repeated ad nauseum, deliberately so. It’s a repetitive act, taking the train to work, and back home every day, so the song deserves the same dichotomy.
Yeah begins, well, like it could belong to one of Julian Cope’s first two albums with its hypnotic, post-punk rhythms, but moves into more familiar territory and ends with some robust playing.
The band have admitted that That Petrol Emotion were hurt, presumably in commercial terms, by their outspoken political views, mainly their observations of what was happening in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. I’d say it was part of their make-up and inseparable from their modus operandi. But, of course, such subject matter isn’t going to endear them to Darren and Tracy of Hemel Hempstead.
So there’s little of that on Anima Rising, where they’re clearly feeling good about being in a band again and playing to their strengths.
The exception is the closer, The Grind, that sounds as close to TPE as it is possible, while straddling the boundary into Sonic Youth territory. It reflects on Britain in 2015 under the Posh Boys junta: “Because all around us is a nightmare nation/ a demonocracy is what we’re facing”, where “scumbag politicians lie,” with everyone shouting at the microphones, a la The Clash.
This is an album uncluttered with experimentalism or jolly tunes, it is what it is. There’s only seven tracks, but one is eight minutes long, The Grind stretches to 12 minutes, so you get your money’s worth.