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On Philip Peters' 4th solo LP, "Mandalay", the artist continues the amazing juxtaposition of styles he's been developing since beginning in the earliest days of the U.S. Punk/Post-Punk and New Wave scenes of the late 1970s to early 80s.
In today's age of everyone "doing it themselves", I know it doesn't sound as impressive any longer to say "he plays all the instruments". But in Phil Peters' case the range of styles and textures that Peters is able to capture really is remarkable, with probably 2% of the technology that a lot of others have access to!
The styles range anywhere from Classic late 60s/early 70s Rolling Stones, Small Faces blues rock to early 80s Cure/ dark post-punk pop styles, and back again to the acoustic/bluegrass ramblings of Led Zeppelin, and finally to total all-out 1970s plodding sludge riff rock.
The lyrics are poignant and reflective of the immense challenges, and often futile nature of intimacy and trust. As in life, it's only hope, morbid curiosity and interest in irony that keeps Philip from total collapse, and to keep moving. His vocals, long a challenge in almost an overly honest expression, and traditionally always the most raw aspect of his recordings, continue to develop nicely, with a nice Peter Murphy whine, floating on top of a new darker baritone tone in his lower register. Peters' vocals are delivered with relentless intent.
Here are some brief descriptions of tracks included in the
Philip Peters 'Mandalay' LP
(released fall 2014):
"Where Do You Go" – bluesy early 1970s rock
"Mandalay" – textural, reflective
"Miss Molotov" – rock and roll pop ala The Stones "Tumbling Dice"
"Kissing Olga" – Zeppelin'y bluegrass sounds
"Every Little Thing" – 1965 Bob Dylan organ sounds, like "Like A Rolling Stone"
"Feathers and Tar" – starts off with edgy piano and rock and roll guitar of early solo John Lennon. Almost beat down, maybe not able to get up. Ends up pretty epic, with strings.
"Secondhand Prince Charming" – cool dark pop, ala The Church's "Under the Milky Way". great reverb guitar solo!
"Vicky Vendetta" – Nice little droning "Mother's Little Helper" reminiscent riff, over solid hard driving beat.
"Bring You Silver And Gold" – 1970s fudge rock. Nice distorted vocals. Almost a reworking of
Zeppelin's "Gallows Pole"
"Grapevine" – Totally cool, '70s riff rock. A little bit of Black Sabbath influence
"Star Crossed Lover" – Great short song. Has it all. Sadness, hope
"Control" – Great lyrics. "you were the one in control, what went wrong?" He's not sure whether he's blaming, or merely identifying the hopeless nature of dealing with relationships, power struggles and co-dependence. Best vocals yet, great range. Great chords that have always been one of Philip's best elements of song execution. Great LP closer. Understated, both with beauty and a brutal identification with the situation of love.
Finally, as the way it should be, each new Philip Peters LP just gets better! I eagerly await the next one.