Monday, September 14, 2009

The Pneurotics: Second Skin

Second Skin
album art by Julie Rollinson

Nestled in the Piedmont foothills and the North Carolina coastal plain, the art community of Chapel Hill draws as much inspiration, purpose and character from within as it does from beyond. Piedmont blues and old fashioned Appalachian folk art and gentility stand in simultaneous kinship and contrast with the modern lines of pop culture and indy sophistication. Within the overlapping threads of influence there exists a practical artist's farmer's market where art, literature, and music harmoniously weave in and out among one another to shop the wares of style, form and texture. Art flourishes in its animated climate, literature thrives among its supports, but none have favored from this interdependence more so than the local music culture.

Capitalizing upon these benefits, the past five years have been a boon to local music which has witnessed a number of music dedicated venues emerge, countless bands form to fill the stages, and reclamation of the consumer's entertainment dollar. Among these new bands stood The Pneurotics. The Pneurotics rose up in 2006 to deliver their debut album Forty in Chapel Hill during the sweet spot of this good fortune and hastily established their place. The brilliant tone of lead singer Rich McLaughlin’s telecaster and their continuously grabby and hooky songs quickly made it onto the must see lists of the local denizens. For three years then, The Pneurotics have seen the local stage as their play ground and have been the first ones through the door when the recess bell rang and the last to drag their feet back inside when the teacher's whistle blew. They see the atmosphere for local music as a gift of fortunate proportions and have taken every joy of being part.

Entering with this state of mind to their new album Second Skin, and the Wilburys like happiness of the anthems and ballads gain an explanation. This album has been created, recorded, and produced from a perspective of musicians having the time of their lives while making it. As Forty is to hello, Second Skin is to where be the after party? Patiently derived and deliberately executed, no signs of hurry are found in this album, just traces of meticulous song crafting and excitable detail which can only be derived through the pure love of making rock and roll. Rich, Mimi, and Gabe are living for the stage and this album is the air they are breathing.

The Pneurotics step in their own tracks through much of this album. The crunchy guitar chords and forward lashing lead riffs are delivered in their anticipated exquisiteness and Rich once again delivers his swoonful lone wolf contours to the mic. "Roses" is a danceable jaunt with a contagious bass dish and reconfirms that The Pneurotics are here to have fun watching people have fun, but they also depart from their tried and true path in interesting and unexpected ways. "Indian Tune" polishes down their garage slang to reveal a mysterious Jane's Addiction like hue. Raspy and spacey, it delivers a depthfully forlorn interlude to their folk inspirations and expands the headroom of the album. It's the quality of the middle and late story teller folk tracks that this album is filled with which will give it staying power though. Brilliantly tailored "Sirens" hauntingly draws emotion and at song number 10, drives the listenability of this album deep into the track listings. "White Man's Disease" and "Sunshine", are also late blooming tracks with considerable re-play power. "Second Skin" will be a delightful redux to The Pneurotics faithful and an exciting introduction for those yet to be enlightened. It is music for all occasions. Cheerful and exciting when you need cheerful and exciting, somber and long when you need sobriety and reality.

The Pneurotics have a fall East Coast tour arranged to spread the love and then they will be delivered back home to continue the party. For us locals, an extraordinary local CD release party will be held this Friday 9/18 at local 506. Eight dollars will gain us admission and possession of the first copies of their CD. --Carrboro Ninja

Tour dates:

Sep 18 Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC w/Rat Jackson and The Travesties
Sep 19 The Whiskey - Wilmington, NC w/Onward, Soldiers
Oct 16 East Coast Opera House - Wilmington, NC w/Ponchos from Peru!
Oct 17 Sweet Melissa’s - Savannah, GA w/Chaos in Gotham
Oct 18 The Oasis Bar and Grill - James Island, SC w/Chaos in Gotham
Oct 22 Goodbye Blue Monday - Brooklyn, NY
Nov 6 Duke Coffeehouse - Durham, NC (Troika Music Festival)

The Pneurotics on Myspace: myspace

The Pneurotics
image by Besty Harris

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