Friday, March 3, 2023

The PeeChees - Life LP


Damaged Goods (1999)

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I am fully aware that I've been writing about a lot more old music than new recordings lately.  I wish I could find more of a balance, but even though last year had some truly incredible records come out, the quantity of new albums I am interested in seems to have decreased quite a bit for me.  The older I get, I suppose it's more likely to happen.  But I certainly haven't lost my passion for music and buying records, my focus has just been more on filling gaps in the collection and revisiting bands and albums that I overlooked the first time around.  This one falls into the 'fill a gap' category.

Life is the PeeChees singles compilation that came out in 1999.  I have the CD, but I never picked up the LP because I had most of the 7"s.  To be honest, I have all of their 7"s that matter to me.  But as I don't really spend as much time with my CDs, I wanted to pick up this on vinyl, for ease of listening when the mood strikes to sit down and crank some LPs.  Many thanks to my pal Scott in the UK for snagging this for me.  In 1994 as I was exploring the world of punk and indie rock for the first time, a friend of mine in high school let me borrow the Kill Rock Stars compilation album Rock Stars Kill.  This was a transformative record for me and even though some of the bands that blew me away didn't pan out to be long time favorites (the Smog song on this album is about a billion times better than any other song I ever heard by them), a few stuck around, at least in the short term.

One of those was The PeeChees.  Their contribution to this comp, "Patty Coahuila," hit me just right for whatever reason.  That song made a bunch of mix tapes for me back in the day and it still kind of gives me chills when I hear it.  That led me to picking up the Cup of Glory 7".  And then the Scented Gum 7" and then the split 7" with Long Hind Legs.  I was obsessed with these records.  In late 1995, Rocket From The Crypt played Irving Plaza and they brought The PeeChees with them to open.  I could not have been more ecstatic.

That was my freshman year of college and I had started writing for the campus newspaper.  The PeeChees ended up being the first band interview I ever did and if I remember correctly, I think they told me it was only the second time anyone had interviewed them.  I'm sure it was awful as I didn't know anything about anything or anyone, but it was a formative experience for me in my burgeoning punk rock life.  They were so kind and it was one of those early experiences realizing that the bands were part of the family, not just aloof people expecting to be fawned over.

This was before their first full length Do The Math had come out, and man oh man did I love that record when it came out.  But those early 7" and compilation appearances always held an extra special place in my heart.  When I listen to the album, the first side is a wonderful trip down memory lane.   About half way through the B side, I kind of lose interest in the songs, wich mirrors my feelings on them as a whole.  I didn't really like their second album and for me, the magic was always in that first barrage of releases.

I don't know if I would like The PeeChees as much if I heard them for the first time right now.  I might, but I just don't know as my love for them is so tightly connected to those early days of finding my way around a new scene.  Regardless of why I do, I really love these songs and am happy to have an easily playable version of them when the mood strikes me to go back in time a bit.

The PeeChees - Life:

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