Published Sep 28, 2016This seven-song eponymous release marks the second album from by Peaer, the pet project of Brooklyn songwriter Peter Katz, following 2014's home-recorded The Eyes Sink Into the Skull. Katz's first for the Tiny Engines label, it's dynamic and mood-driven, constantly riding on energy for a short time before taking the nearest exit to mellower territory.
Throughout, Peaer tends to build tension and dissonance, not with the goal of unleashing it in explosive catharsis but of letting it melt away into nonchalance. It happens quickly and constantly, like thoughts that keep getting interrupted by others. That's not to say that Katz's music feels incomplete or desultory; though, yes, the songs' flow can sometimes make it difficult to get into a proper groove, the ideas are all there, cohesive and intriguing, if not always perfectly charming. Katz is a thoughtful lyricist as well, perhaps best demonstrated on "Third Law."
It's an album that's endearingly lackadaisical when it's not too dreary or disarrayed. Peaer may draw fans of the moaning rockers of the '90s like the Pixies and Pavement (if Katz doesn't own copies of either Slanted and Enchanted or Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, it would be a big surprise). "Sick" is a cheery yet self-loathing tune that's a fine example of Peaer's duality of deft catchiness and rumbling gloom, while "Pink Spit" is wonderfully laid-back, with a great hook. "I.H.S.Y.A," meanwhile, is a jolting math-rocker that's among the album's evidence that Katz has cool ideas, but room to grow with them. (Tiny Engines)