Pulley - Esteem Driven Engine - 4/5
BIG CARL'S BIG TOP 5 BIG MID-NINTIES AMERICAN PUNK #4
Slam-dunking in at number 4 is Pulley's (relatively) unsung classic. An album that came to light to me watching the (now defunct) P-Rock music channel. The track that ate my ears was the opener of this little gem, Cashed In. A song clearly about fat-cat record executives being money hungry and blah blah blah - what's important is that this song is urgently executed, which a great riff and some brilliant trademark Punk vocal harmonies.
The song continues with a couple more good (not as good as Cashed In), solid tracks, the most notable being Eyes Open Wide, featuring another simply magical Punk harmony and a charming guitar solo.
Up next, then, is Wok Inn. Starting with some nice drumming and some interesting bass work, bursting into an extremely energetic riff and verse. Filled with hooks, this is another cracker to quell the fear that this album is a one-hit-wonder.
Four Walls is one of those tracks that a lot of these bands felt like they had to have - a boring track about boredom. Moving on...
One Shot is a song about catchy, radio-friendly punk songs played in the style of a, er, catchy, radio-friendly punk song. Good to jump around to, complete with the mandatory reference to Mtv and not caring about what's cool anymore. Barf, the next track, follows on in typically speedy fashion. There are some wierd soundbites as well, that I can't really make out. By now, you'll know what Pulley are all about on this album - speed, melody and great riffs.
Lifer, apart from being the namesake of this blog (and it's originator, the great Facebook group), is one of my favourite songs. The line "it's getting lonely in this parking lot of life" is anthemic, and lyrically in general this track is a real corker.
No Defense is a very by-the-numbers Punk song, and is very convincing. I believe somebody else sings this song as well (I can't find confirmation of this on the internet, and I can't be arsed to dig the CD out), which keeps the album interesting and even more loveable.
This album, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of what the scene was about. Very melodic, but remaining furiously fast, a listen to this for any fan of American Punk is a must.