The self titled debut album from Spanish based power pop combo The Pulsebeats only has one intention, to rattles cages and tease ears with enthused and excitable bursts of pulse racing raw energy. To the term power pop, which the band use on their bio, is slightly misleading as their eager sound is more a clash of garage rock and punk with healthy veins of pop and rock. The album is unpredictable and a release with definite peaks though the consistency across its length is strong.
From Santander, The Pulsebeats began at the beginning of 2010 with the quartet of Nathan (ex- The Vipers – UK), Alex (currently in Zientotreintayuno and Riff Cadaver), Ral (ex- White Radars, The Vipers, Mairollosnauta, Corte de los Milagros…) and Luis coming together to in their own words “…write great pop tunes that you can dance and sing along to.” The album proves they succeeded though with a great rough edge to their music to be more than just pop.
‘The Heart Of The Rhinestone Cowboy’ opens up proceedings, jangly guitars with a southern lilt playing on the ear. The song is a stirring mix of punk and country rock giving a mix of The Pogues, Reverend Horton Heat and Dropkick Murphys. Blistered melodies and harmonies flow alongside the choppy guitars and coarse vocals to make a strong start to the release. The pop punk of ‘Song For Celia’ plays easily upon the ear next but it is with ‘Cynical Ride’ that things accelerate. From the first thirsty riff the song grabs firm attention, with a dirty insatiable sound, teasing keys and a thumping rhythm it hits the spot perfectly. The track also confirms what previous tracks suggested, there are some mean basslines at play even if production veils them beneath the guitar at times.
The dual male and female vocal led ‘Midnight Drive’, the energetic ‘You Powerpop Boys’ with boisterous guitars and mischievous bass, plus another southern twang lined track in ‘1,000 Stars’ keep the album flowing with agreeable and pleasing sounds, the last of the three bringing urges to strap on the stirrups and go ride something. Though the tracks do not leap out as others they all bring a sing-a-long attitude, fun, and memorable moments to get feet tapping and interest deep.
The Pulsebeat keeps the best until last though, the album closing with three thrilling and impressive tracks. Firstly ‘Shallow Call’ swaggers in with shouts, a grumbling bassline and stirring punk guitars chopping across the senses. Sounding Rocket from the Crypt like, the track turns up the intensity and energy. It never gets out of control or goes full pelt but has all the elements and intentions good punk music should. ‘Wanna Make U Mine’ leaps right in next, giving a senses energising cacophony of sound from an inbred union between The Briefs and The Strokes with Living End, this is punkabilly at its best.
‘Killed By Sinatra’ closes out the release with equal quality and pleasure. Fuelled by rampaging pop punk focusing on direct ear blistering fun the song is again RFTC like with splatters of The Stooges and Foxboro Hot Tubs. It throbs and jumps with playfulness, and as always jangly guitars and irresistible hooks run wild. Placing strong tracks at the end of an album always seems an obvious idea though many bands do not. To leave on a track that rings and lingers around the head and thoughts has to be the best way to induce people back soon, apart from making a great album of course. The Pulsebeats do it in triplicate, leaving the listeners with a trio of thumping hyperactive irresistible tunes. With the rest of the album being pretty darn good too they have come up with an impressive album.
The Pulsebeats is not without flaws especially in the bass and keys which when heard are excellent but too often they are blanketed by the crashing guitars and eager vocals. The album is a treat to delve into again and again with ease so go treat yourself by checking it out, a fun time is guaranteed and it just might become a regular on your personal playlist.