Reviews

P.E.
Person

(Wharf Cat)

8/10

You wanna groove with me? Then I need strict compliance,” intones Veronica Torres on ‘Top Ticket’. Expressed with all the passion of a bored supermarket announcer, this repeating call and response lyric feels like a strapline for P.E.’s debut album. Enigmatically called Person, this is a piece of work that blurs the lines between seduction and violence. This is what the band describe as “human music for the 21st century”.

The members of P.E. are basically a who’s who of the New York experimental underground. Lead-singer Torres, Jonathan Campolo and Benjamin Jaffe were all formerly of criminally underrated art punks Pill until they joined forces with Jonathan Schenke and Bob Jones of electronic post-punk outfit Eaters. Beginning as an improvisational outfit has informed an equally free-form recording process, resulting in what is in effect a Cronenberg movie turned into an electronic album.

A proper Chimera of a record, Person walks a tightrope between well-trodden punk and industrial tropes yet remains fiercely original. For those looking for straight forward tech-noir then ‘Machine Machine’ and single ‘Top Ticket’ have got you covered, but it’s on the quieter numbers where P.E. are their most subversive: the dehumanised classic rock of ‘Lovers’ Lane’ and ‘Pink Shiver’ sees hokey lyrics about backseat make-out sessions delivered with disturbing emotional flatness.

This album’s best moments are when the pop feels like it’s been coldly punched out by a machine, and, like all machines, either it will fascinate or appal you.

Support Loud And Quiet through the COVID-19 crisis

If you are able to and would like to support what we do through the current global crisis, please consider buying an archive issue from our online Shop, or making a donation via our Subscribe page. Many thanks.