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Reviewed on 29th January 2004.


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By Pilot To Gunner

A good name, a good front cover, and a kudos-worthy work ethic, and oh boy it fits in my CD player like a penis in a vagina. Pressing play. Wow, this is blindingly ok. Let's dissect this little puppy.

Firstly, his relies heavily on stringing together Q And Not U tricks and passing them off as whole songs. Sudden stops, the wiggle-inducing quirk factor, big shouty choruses. The handclaps on "The Product" are plain burgled from Q And Not U's debut album. This isn't a terrible thing, but not exactly groundbreaking, and far from original.

Weirdly, vocalist Padden sounds a bit like that guy from Blink 182, and this kinda undermines PTG's underground integrity a bit. Again, this isn't bad, because at least the guy offers some nice one-line hooks and stuff. I was pretty impressed with the album's title track, and the sweet but strong "Sorry Names" for the hook-factor.

I hate referring to things as "emo", but this fits neatly into said musical genre. There are those straight and chord-y guitar riffs, those stomping 4/4 beats and those singalong choruses about either girls or a longing for times past. We all know it so well. Saving the band from total generic dullness is the conviction of execution, and a degree of lyrical tact. They don't sound too contrived, they sound content. Diluted, but reminiscent of Far crossed with AFI, or something. Music for the kids, but music you'd let them listen to.

The album's major downfall - and maybe I'm sorry for being so superficial - is its stupid production. The guitars sound very nice, warm and rocking, but some dipshit has gated the drums so they sound like a scrap drum machine, and has also managed to EQ the cymbals out of the mix. Why would they do that, I wonder? It's ghastly. There's a void in the noise, and consequently some of the heavy parts don't soar as they should. If you turn the treble up to full on your stereo it's more tolerable, but the shit mix is REALLY annoying. It makes the bad sound seriously bland.

PTG would benefit from a shit-kicking, open, raw-as-fuck Steve Albini or Ian Mackaye production. Something that could aptly unlock their potential as a shiny, fiery rock cannon. For now, though, it's all bottled up in shit mixes and a lacklustre sound. Maybe in the live environment, Pilot To Gunner will really explode and show off how much they rock in their element. I hope so. For now, this album should be treated as a reference only, so the true quality of this band can be gauged fairly.



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