The song “Generations”, by P.E.T.S, is a kind of fight against the sepia-toned humdrum that pop music is currently dishing out. It thrums with vigor and eagerness, and is by turns tender, nostalgic, and fantastical, as it joyfully and rather cleverly references parental legacies without getting bogged down in the particulars. It’s nuanced and complex, yet it feels easy, and its originality is an antidote to the kind of mainstream corporate swill that passes for indie pop these days. If it makes you ponder just a little bit, that’s cool too.
Because you should. Based in Richland WA, P.E.T.S was formed in 2007 by Tim Leingang. The music is performed by a collection of musicians who are friends and family. P.E.T.S has released two previous albums on Funkytonk Records, and have toured the west coast in support of their LP ‘Personal Electronic Transactor Sounds’.
Looking at the P.E.T.S musical catalog, it seems that Tim Leingang has built a fascinating and singular underground career as a half-in-the-bag philosopher, a master of off-kilter hooks badgering the universe for answers and a visionary with a social conscience.
The problem with most bands with brains (and P.E.T.S clearly has some smarts) is that when the lyrics get too heady the band comes off sounding musically forced and impersonal. P.E.T.S avoid all that and makes it all work without the feel of contrivance, because they are so unpretentious in their approach.
The band has constantly shifting musical motifs, as well as a sense of the unexpected, while their lyrics are oblique and of multiple interpretation. They offer glimpses of brilliance and sparks of creativity, out of what sounds like a kiddie’s musical ditty on “Generations”.
Below the surface of every harmonized word, every biffed guitar line, every Linndrum hit, and shimmering keyboard note, shines the intelligence of P.E.T.S, becoming increasingly more noticeable, and counteracting the initial impression of them as simply just a bunch of eclectic indie hipsters.
Listening to this eerily nice and hauntingly soothing number, you’ll at times wonder and ask yourself, “What does all this mean?” For the time being, just nod your head, tap your feet and be patient …your mind will eventually catch up sooner or later.
Clocking in at three minutes and forty seconds the song is over before you know it, kind of like a lullaby. For those who think mainstream pop is too predictable and indie pop too often lacks sufficient edge, P.E.T.S is a no-brainer.
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered 2018 at Daveno Studio in Richland WA by Timothy Leingang. “Generations” was written by Timothy Leingang and performed and interpreted by PETS, who include Guitar and Linndrum: Timothy Leingang, Bass: Andy Evens, Rhodes: Patrick Mackey, Synthesizer: Drew Gale, Vocals: Arta Marie Powers, Katy Mills and Cameron Mills.