This review was submitted by Matt Bergeron.
If someone were to talk about the hardest working person within today’s scene, who would come to mind? Well, a majority of this unofficial, possibly non-existent survey would point directly to Evan Weiss. As the mastermind behind a slew of talented and unique bands (Into It. Over It., Stay Ahead Of The Weather, to name a few), Weiss has teamed up with Dowsing’s Erik Czaja and Marcus Nuccio to create Pet Symmetry. The creation, besides adding another worthy outlet to his discography, has resulted in material that is a healthy mix of power pop and indie-rock, capped off by the celebrated lyrical stylings of Weiss.
Released on Asian Man Records, “Two Songs About Cars. Two Songs With Long Titles” is a two-track 7″, serving as a perfect introduction to the newly formed band. Holding true to the title of the record, the A-side is home to “A Detailed and Poetic Physical Threat to the Person Who Intentionally Vandalized my 1994 Dodge Intrepid Behind Kate’s Apartment,” both a mouthful and an earful. The track starts without hesitation, almost immediately bursting into a collective of beautifully composed guitar and drum work, accompanied by unforgiving vocals. Weiss’ writing style has always been pretty straight forward, with this track having him sing about his love for a certain car, and well, basically the song IS a straight up threat to whoever messed with his beloved. He asks, “Have you ever felt your perfect teeth, make a connection with Chicago concrete?” in one of the more memorable passages. Although very straightforward, Weiss still leaves a little up to interpretation, as many have had the need to protect not only a vehicle, but a loved one, or really anything they care about. One of the most surprising and welcomed additions to this track is the subtle horn arrangement. In the end, they manage to bring the song full circle until its abrupt final notes.
Notorious for also writing very short songs, Weiss next gives us, “Please Don’t Tell My Father That I Used His 1996 Honda Accord to Destroy The Town of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania In 2002.” Running under three minutes in length, the B-side tells the story of joy riding with friends and — because this reviewer has always wanted to say this — causing a ruckus. Both musically and lyrically, the track manages to bring up the rambunctious feelings of the teenage years, along with that (long lost) feeling of invincibility. Although this track sits a little closer to the mellow side of rock, they decided to once again bring the horns into the arrangement, even giving them more of the spotlight.
What we have here is a very coherent release and although these two tracks are different in so many ways, for some reason, they mesh because of their masterfully written lyrical structures and instrumental compositions.
Sound Quality: There isn’t much else you could ask for in a 7” as far as sound quality goes. Cut at 45 RPM, everything is crisp and clear, with the absence of clicks or pops making for a delightful listen. Weiss’ vocals really shine on this 7″, careening through your speakers in a very welcoming style. With 7”s being pumped out left and right, it’s easy to overlook some quality control. Not in this case, though, as the mastering job for the EP is as close to perfect as any listener could ask for.
Packaging: An ongoing theme for 7” releases seems to be a fold over jacket, which unfortunately, can sometimes come off as cheap and ugly. This is not the case here, as AMR gives us a vibrant full color jacket on a relatively thick paper stock. We aren’t given anything too over the top, but it’s very clear that this was not hastily slapped together. Also included with this overall solid release is a double-sided, black and white lyrics sheet.
Extras: The now sold out first pressing, a run of 779 copies, was pressed on random colored vinyl and a download code is included in this 7” packaging.
Summary: Pet Symmetry’s debut release is a power-pop filled, angst ridden good time. Strong lyrical content matched with marvelous arrangements are sure to make this trio just another strong contender in that race for the answer to the one question; Which one of Evan Weiss’ bands is the best?
Make Sure To Spin: Go ahead and check out the whole thing. It’s worth every second.
You can pick up the second pressing of the 7″ through Asian Man.