Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Saturday, 1 October 2016

PULLEY

BandPULLEY
GenresPunk / Skate Punk / Melodic Hardcore / Alternative
Related artistsDeath By Stereo, Zero Down, Ten Foot Pole, Implants, Voodoo Glow Skulls, O.Y.M., The Grim, 22 Jacks, Face To Face, No Use For A Name, Victoria Manor, Zero Tolerance, Fatal Error, Scared Straight, Hot Poppy, Papa Roach, The Jealous Sound, Unwritten Law and Strung Out.
CountrySimi Valley, California USA
Years Active1994-presnet
Song: "If"
Album: "60 Cycle Hum"
Year: 1997
For fans ofLagwagon, NOFX, Longfellow, Bad Religion, Hi Standard, Unwritten Law, 88 Fingers Louie, Rise Against, Propagandhi, Millencolin, Belvedere, No Use For A Name, Face To Face, 7-10 Split, Frenzal Rhomb, Strung Out, Zero Down and Ten Foot Pole.
Label(s): Self Released / Epitaph Records / Immergent / When's Lunch Records / X-Members Records
This post's artist is from the September 2016 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the September 2016 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2016 Mix#10 here.

Back when I first got into punk (1998) and I picked up the Fat Wreck and Epitaph sampler cds (which were the inspiration for the Zegema Beach Records Zampler sampler series [say that five times fast]) I was introduced to a slew of new bands, some shitty and some amazing. Off of the early Punk-O-Rama 3 cd one of the bands that caught my attention were PULLEY with a song called "If". I remember thinking that this was heavier skate punk, as there is some gruffer, yelly parts, but I was intrigued by the speed, melodies and jarring stop-start nature of the song. I quickly found out that the band's story was quite interesting. The singer Scott Radinsky joined this band after being booted out of Ten Foot Pole because he couldn't commit full-time as he was a major league baseball pitcher! That still kind of blows my mind. I'm only going to touch upon the three records that I jammed (and still do if we are discussing '60 Cycle Hum' which I consider the band's masterpiece) and bypass all things released post 1999 aka the 'Self Titled' LP aka the last of Jim Cherry before his passing.

'Esteem Driven Engine' was the band's first jump into an LP, which turned out okay, I guess. At this point Ten Foot Pole was still the better band and it was noticeable on the instrumentals as well as the general songwriting. There were, however, a few gems here that indicated the band's potential but to this day have little staying power with me. The songs aren't bad, they just don't have the punch, memorability and variety of later material. Those semi-decent songs are "Cashed In", "Wok Inn", the strongest/heaviest song "Silver Tongue Devil" and the very mature sounding "Four Walls". This album has a very, "Ten Foot Pole kinda screwed me," lyrical vibe. It's aight.

The following year saw the release of the truly amazing '60 Cycle Hum' full length record. Opening with the aforementioned "If", things get started quickly and much louder than the album's predecessor, with Scott singing/yelling, "What the fuck is really going on with me?!?! I'm a creature in a circus freakshow." Truly, I love the vocals on this song. For a skate punk record this shit is really intense, emotional and even cathartic, especially when the song moves to the rolling bass transition just after the first minute and the soaring "I'm on my waaaaaaay!" as well as that outro of, "Nothing's left for me!" "Locked Away" is a great palm-mute jam that goes in and out of the clicks and pounding chorus' saturated with drums. As Scott is not the only vocalist on this record, other members jump in with their own take and definitely raise this collection of material above the rest. "Reality" is a great example, focusing more on the thrashy, hardcore side of the band which includes a heap of quickly sung lyrics whose lack of talented melodies is compensated by fantastic vocal placement. You know what? It doesn't sound that different from a fast Pearl Jam song. "Scab" is similar in the fact that we have yet another vocalist and the lyrics are spewed out at lightning speed, to the point where deciphering what he says is like deconstructing a Rahzel verse. "Where Are You Now?" is an amazing post-skate punk tune, if that's even a genre. This song has dreamy post-hardcore instrumentals throughout and outright screaming near the end of it. Hmmm, 1:28 to be exact. "Noddin' Off at the Wheel" is 1:15 of straight up hardcore (no skaters allowed here) complete with yelling and a sweet bass-heavy drop just before the one-minute mark. "Endless Journey" has the band members switching back and forth with the vocals and pretty much incorporates everything that makes this record great: very unique guitars, slower and heavier parts, very quick transitions and a variety of singers that cover melodic and slightly darker vocals. The closer "Outside Opinion" takes a palm-mute heavy and multi-vocalist approach to end the record on what sounds like a much more positive and uplifting note. Dang, almost 20 years later and I still really enjoy spinning this album.

1999 was the height of my PULLEY infatuation and when '@#!*' was released I was first ecstatic. The songs seemed to cover further ends of the punk rock spectrum and sounded great. Upon further listens I noticed the massive increase in the sound production and lack of memorability when compared to the 1997 material, although it wasn't until a year or two after its release that I came to this subjective conclusion. In retrospect, this is still a very good PULLEY album, it just begins the foray into new and experimental sounds for the band which would sometimes work and other times not. Track two's "Soberbeah" is a very melodic and accessible punk rock song with a focus on slowing down the guitars via palm mutes and injecting a straight up rock/alternative opening with the instrumentals as well as the vocals. "Over It" was my next jam on here, which drops to a heavy chug not even 15 seconds in and tosses around additional guitar squeals to make this a head-bobbing good time. "Nothing to Lose" is similar in its deep, heaving and chugging guitars during the chorus but the entire thing is draped in a dark, foreboding shadow. "Second Best" takes the sad, rainy funeral feel and injects more punk than rock to make it an angry and frustrated 1:52. Possibly my favourite song on here is "Sick", without a doubt the heaviest track on '@#!*'. I always assumed this wasn't Scott on vocals, but after seeing them live in support of this album showed me how incorrect I was, as he is able to shed his higher, melodic singing voice for a lower, much more depressed and angry delivery.

I won't lie, skate punk used to hold a special place in my heart but I do have a hard time (generally) revisiting this style of music. But PULLEY? Naw, PULLEY still sounds pretty damn good to me, especially '60 Cycle Hum'. For those who still follow the band, they signed to Cyber Tracks just a few short days ago and are planning a new record. Have a good weekend!

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DISCOGRAPHY

1996 - Esteem Driven Engine cd/cassette/12"LP

1997 - 60 Cycle Hum cd/cassette/12"LP

1999 - @#!* cd/12"LP

2001 - Together Again for the First Time cdLP

2004 - Matters cdLP
2004 - Slackers split cdLP

2005 - Beyond Warped cd/dvdEP

2008 - Time-Insensitive Material cd/12"EP

2011 - The Long and the Short Of It 7"EP

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(1996) PULLEY - "Silver Tongue Devil" (from 'Esteem Driven Engine')

(1996) PULLEY - "Four Walls" (from 'Esteem Driven Engine')

(1997) PULLEY - "Where Are You Now?" (from '60 Cycle Hum')

(1997) PULLEY - "If" (from '60 Cycle Hum')

(1997) PULLEY - "Endless Journey" (from '60 Cycle Hum')

(1999) PULLEY - "Sick" (from '#@!*')

(1999) PULLEY - "Second Best" (from '#@!*')

(2001) PULLEY - full album of 'Together Again for the First Time'

(2004) PULLEY - full album of 'Matters'

(2004) PULLEY - full album of 'Slackers split'

(2005) PULLEY - full album of 'Beyond Warped'

(2008) PULLEY - full album of 'Time-Insensitive Material'

(2011) PULLEY - full album of 'The Long and the Short Of It'

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PULLEY additional links

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