Friday, September 11, 2009

Pete Krebs - Bittersweet Valentines (CD, 1999)

If we thought the huge undertaking of Sweet Ona Rose took any muster out of Pete Krebs, we were wrong. This short acoustic EP was released later the same year, and contains some great songs.

The first four tracks are acoustic songs reminiscent of Brigadier, pensive numbers that are ostensibly depressing but seem to hold some hope in their structure. The melodies are delicate and the guitar parts are loose but precise. "Powder Keg" is the initial standout, but upon repeated listenings, the other three are just as great, with the fourth track, "Bittersweet," being one of my favorite Krebs tunes from this era.

The fifth track is an untitled phase of noise, but the sixth one takes it back to Ona Rose territory, with Pete leading a full band through a raucous two-minute rocker called "Told You So." It's not as polished as anything from the previous album, but it's more aggressive than most of his stuff. And faster.

Clearly Pete Krebs was in a prolific stage in his career in the late 90's. I've even got a 7" from this same era (released under the Gossamer Wings name, but it's not the same band from Sweet Ona Rose) that has a non-album track ("Where You Been?") and an alternate version of "Pacific Standard Time" that is twangier and more peppy. (Though now I'm realizing the copyright for the songs is listed as 1999, but the release date on the record is 2001.)

If this record has a fault, it's that it's painfully short (somewhere around 15 minutes), but that's no gripe. It's a great little collection.

Looks like you can listen to a little of "Bittersweet" here.

1 comment:

Biff Pocaroba said...

It's odd. To me, most musicians I was into around '99 and 2000 seemed to be churning out frustratingly boring music. Pete Krebs, however, was in the freaking zone. I hate that this album is so short because every song is stellar. I always thought it was pretty sweet that "Powder Keg"s (how do you show ownership within quotes?) chorus had the word "bittersweet" as does the actual song "Bittersweet." For my money, "Told You So" is one of Krebs' best songs. When I first heard this EP, the moment this song kicked in after the instrumental stuff I remember losing my shit. The song is an asskicker. Which is odd as it seems to be tucked away on an otherwise acoustic EP. It goes to show what a zone the man was in at the time. Speaking of forgotten albums, I don't remember the last time I have come across this CD in person. Does that means it sold well? Or not well at all? Who knows?