In the parts of Sydney that they don’t tell you about in travel guides and you won’t see on television, the parts where nights start at 11pm and push on until the morning, where people are cool because of their ideas and their passions not what they’re wearing, in that part of Sydney, PVT may as well have their own suburb. Back when they were called Pivot and many of their songs didn’t have vocals, I was so intimidated by the kids who ‘got’ Pivot that I simply turned in another direction. As out there as I thought I was, I was no match for the Pike brothers, who seemed to pop up at every avant-garde music festival, radio station and new side project that happened in the mid-2000s. And in dropping their vowels and honing their sound, PVT literally became one of the tightest, most reliable music-making machines in the country. Eventually someone dragged me along to a gig so I could stop wondering and see what was really happening. All I remember from that night was walking out with my head buried in my Nokia 3310 texting everyone I knew ‘Dude. Have you heard of this band called Pivot?’
The nature of the Internet and the seemingly endless capability to just fire off reams of press releases and requests means that despite our relatively niche offering, we still get bombarded with material every day. So you can imagine our excitement when someone from an actual record label we’d heard of asked us if we’d like to premiere new work from a band we’d definitely heard of. That’s not just an honour, it’s a gift. Today I get to tell our readers about ‘Electric’, which is easily one of the sexiest tunes of PVT’s forthcoming record Homosapien, to be introduced across 9 blogs in the next week, including my alma mater Who The Hell and friends at Indie Shuffle. PVT are very much a live proposition; it’s where you really get to see those cogs moving, particularly in the form of monster drummer Laurence Pike and the way he interacts with his brother Richard (side note: how great are brothers?). Two albums in from their beloved O Soundtrack My Heart, the band have managed to keep it decidedly weird while actually writing songs that you may be able to sing along to should you so desire.
Because PVT so keenly mix electronica with more regular rock sounds, songs like ‘Electric’ sit in their own strange Universe where you can hear a keyboard set up to sound like a Chinese string instrument hanging out next to a bunch of horns programmed into a chords that sound like the end of a Modest Mouse song. It’s dark and sinewy, particularly in the drum line, but you can also sense – especially in the intonation in the vocal – that the trio are having fun with it. Everything’s very restrained and it doesn’t seem unlikely that in a gig setting, this song would go three times longer and explode all over the shop. Also, if you’re a music nerd like me, you’ll notice that the shuffling groove Laurence is pumping out is a play on the famous James Brown beat from ‘Cold Sweat’, where the second snare is delayed, changing the emphasis while staying in the same time signature. I’m pretty much hooked on it now and I’ve only had 2 days to listen to it. Damn their hypnotism. Damn it all to hell. Those cool kids are at it again.
PVT – ‘Electric’ (World Premiere)