Every two years or so we seem to get a new stomping encounter with The Pulsebeats; a regular occurrence, certainly over the past four years, providing so far highly memorable and rousing adventures. Nothing has changed with new album Fiction Non-Fiction either, a riotous ten track affair which has the body and spirit leaping with the band’s distinct fusion of garage and punk rock with power pop contagion.
Formed in 2010 by a quartet of musicians from Manchester and Santander in Spain, The Pulsebeats soon had an increasing flock of fans bouncing live and with their self-titled debut album of 2011. A raw but captivating romp, it awoke a new wave of attention and media interest which was further stirred up by the band’s three track 7” single Don’t Turn Your Fucking Back On Me two years later. That release immediately revealed a new imagination and diversity in the band’s songwriting and sound which has now been taken to yet another plateau with Fiction Non-Fiction. Released a couple of weeks ago by FOLC Records and Action Weekend Records, the recording of The Pulsebeats’ new roar of energetic fun saw the band return to Santander’s Drive Division Studio with Alex Pis handling production. What emerged was a collection of songs eager to reveal the band at its most musically adventurous and indeed creatively tenacious yet.
What Can I Do? is the first slice of engaging incitement on the album; a welcome instantly wrapping ears in jangly guitar and crisp beats. The distinctive British tones of Nathan are soon adding to the already potent lure of the song, his and fellow guitarist, Luis’ riffs and hooks surrounding his tones with matching zeal and expression The track is a tidy slice of power pop mixed with sixties spiced R&B, a warm an catchy start soon eclipsed by Dead School Marching Band. New wave like guitar insurgency rubs the senses first; their almost duelling bait soon accompanied by the swinging rhythms of drummer Ral and the almost haughty bassline of Alex. In no time, the outstanding song has feet and hips bound in its virulence whilst a Who/early Jam hue blossoms to ignite the imagination. It is also an inventively busy proposal, vocal growls and writhing harmonies colluding with spiky hooks and tangy grooves to add to its ear gripping devilry.
The punk ‘n’ roll of Eyes On You leaps straight from the closing breath of its predecessor, the track a glorious old school incitement with a touch of early Buzzcocks meets The Freshies to it; indeed Nathan adding a Howard Devoto like toning to his raw vocal persuasion. Like the previous track, it quickly and easily has body and passions involved while showing more of the variety in sound shaping Fiction Non-Fiction.
The following All I Give also has some of that nostalgic spicing to certainly its acidic hooks and uncluttered body, bringing a lighter infection of pop ‘n’ roll for its magnetic chorus, while Carrie-Anne is a less forceful proposal creating a flirtatious smoulder with sultry surf like melodies within a power pop/new wave hug with just a touch of The Only Ones to it. Both songs easily command undiluted interest and an increasingly greedier appetite for the album, if without quite matching up to the major heights of those before them and the thumping garage rock ‘n’ roll of Baby Girl. The anthemic punches of beats alone have limbs involved, vocals and riffs taking care of the rest of quickly seduced attention.
The mischievous nature of the band in word and sound is never far from the surface of the album and especially dynamic and irresistible in The Man Without A Head. The stomping slice of rock ‘n’ roll is an epidemic of sonic contagion with a host of additional strands drawn from blues, vintage R&B, and pop punk. Many tracks have a claim for best track honours within Fiction Non-Fiction, this one of the most vocal though so too is its successor, the resourcefully infectious and melodically lusty September Calendar Girl.
To be honest most tracks create an unforgettable peak within the lofty stature of the album, the glorious Everybody Wants Some intoxicating punk rock revelry almost aflame with raw energy and attitude to match earlier heights. It offers an uncomplicated two and a half minutes of breath-taking and seriously addictive rock ‘n roll which just ignites body and soul.
Completed by the even briefer punk riot of The Ballad Of Medicine Stu, again a track impossible not to get fully involved in, Fiction Non-Fiction is the kind of release you turn to for pure fun, knowing it will not disappoint in sound, adventure, or attitude. As for The Pulsebeats, they just get better and better, which means so do their records which Fiction Non-Fiction can testify.
Fiction Non-Fiction is available now on CD and download through Folc Records/Action Weekend Records and @ https://thepulsebeats.bandcamp.com/album/fiction-non-fiction
Pete Ringmaster 11/05/2016
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