Pete & the Pirates "Mr. Understanding"

Pete & the Pirates 'Mr. Understanding'
As much as Britain has done for rock music over the last however many decades, I’m not hearing many no frills bands coming out of Wales, Scotland, Ireland (either one, actually) or the biggest disappointment, England these days. Instead the focus seems set on building female singer-songwriters and anything left of centre (are Klaxons still considered now that they back up Rihanna?). That’s fine and all, but does that mean rock fans are supposed to put up with lame-brained no-talents like the Kooks and er, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong – hell, I feel embarrassed even just saying those two names.

One name I am proud to roll off my tongue is Pete & the Pirates, a band from Reading (led by Peter Cattermoul) who appear to have asked a random five-year-old on the street wearing an eye patch and a peg-leg what they should call their band. But begad, I like the addled innocence of it. Unlike the fresh bilge-sucking hacks out there aping the likes of Razorlight, the Libertines and Arctic Monkeys, Pete & the Pirates, well, aren’t even really that new. They had a mini-album out in 2006 called Wait Stop Begin, which featured the uplifting anthem, "Come On Feet,” but not much transpired. Last month’s debut album proper, Little Death, should change things, considering it features not only the aforementioned single but this divine shanty.

No quarter here, matey. "Mr. Understanding” is exactly what this sea dog has been searching the high seas for. Moving at a handsome pace, these landlubbers dig through a chest of melodies to find a riff powerful enough to single-handedly batten down the hatches. Like the first British Sea Power album, these sailors go "yo ho ho” with a big bottle a rum, following a straight line and a mighty Strokes-ian cadence with enough vim and tomfoolery to bring ol’ Jolly Roger back to life. Shiver me timbres, this is shipshape!

The video leaves something to be desired, primarily some serious dental work, as the set of chompers they use as a drum kit are in dire need of, I dunno, replacing?