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pet imitationoflife
Artist: PET
Title: Imitation Of Life
Genre: Psychedelic Electro-Pop
Release Date: 15th November 2013
Label: Neun Volt Records

Album Review

Berlin-based PET are a curious bunch. Almost impossible to categorise, their sound is probably best summed up on opening track ‘Thinking Of You’, from new album ‘Imitation Of Life’. Quirky, jerky pop-funk, maddeningly melodic, sounding at times like the bastard offspring of DEVO’s ‘Whip It’ and a double-speed LADY GAGA’s ‘Poker Face’, it goes off in several directions all at once yet still manages to reassemble itself into a whole. It’s excellent stuff.

Two albums under their belts already, and the patronage of the late, great John Peel, have done this outfit no harm, and their willing disregard for genre and form have kept the ‘cool’ flag firmly wafting in the trendy breeze. ‘Imitation Of Life’ has so many different sounds and styles bursting for attention, that at times it’s like getting tangled in a particularly messy bed. You want to stay in there but you also need to know how to get out. Perfection is reached on the single ‘Talk To You’. A strut of percussion, beeps and bleeps, and some swirly, breathy vocals give way to a chorus that will invade your head and set up basecamp there for, oh, a few months at least. Cowbells? Why now. A random whooomp of Dubstep? Throw it in! It’s completely mad, and it works brilliantly.

Even on initially bland sounding tracks like ‘Everytime I Turn My Head’, there’s an easy charm to these songs, and a sudden hook will unexpectedly lift things out of the mediocre. On ‘I Won’t Hurt You’ the echo-chamber psychedelia feels like a lost NICO era VELVET UNDERGROUND song, pretty but unnerving at the same time. The sixties feel continues on ‘Kiss Me’, mixing THE BYRDS with something entirely of the moment, and it’s another song that completely takes over the head. Disarmingly simple, it’s a pop classic. Things get wonderfully weird toward the end. ‘Counting The Stars’ has a pleasant enough melody, nicely swamped at times by harsh guitars and staccato beats, and what sounds like an old special-effects record being given a spin in the background. But it’s the album’s title track that really sets the controls to out-there. Huge distorted swirls of guitar underpin a lazy, crazy harmonised vocal.

It’s THE HORRORS doing MY BLOODY VALENTINE while stuck in glue and waving multi-coloured sleeves at passers-by. When it’s over, you feel like the whole day has been spent tripping majestically with a unicorn and half of GONG in a field of brightly coloured frogs. Yet at less than four minutes its genius is just that. It bends time but never gets boring. It’s slightly contrived at times, but as a whole represents a daring and assured direction, one that shamelessly mines the past to create something wonderfully carefree and sonically exciting. Not an easy name to Google, but PET are a nostalgically modern band right to the core.


01. Thinking Of You
02. Plain Vanilla
03. Grey
04. Talk To You
05. Never Been Here Before
06. Everytime I Turn My Head
07. Miss Brown
08. I Won’t Hurt You
09. Oh No!
10. Kiss Me
11. Counting The Stars
12. Imitation Of Life


Andre Abshagen
Miss Mono
Stefania Vacca
Dodo NKishi
Julie Miess
Monsieur Le-Roc

Website /

Cover Picture

pet imitationoflife


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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