‘Brand New Breed’ opens with an intro full of news report audio where we hear the phrase “new world order” a bunch of times. This would usually either remind you of American wrestling or make you think that this band is incredibly pretentious. Actually, none of the above, it gives Peepshow‘s new album a pretty atmospheric opening if not a slightly misleading one.
Peepshow look like Mötley Crüe; there’s no escaping that and they’ve obviously honed in on their image so much that it would be easy to think that the music is terrible. Surprisingly, it’s pretty good. It’s hard to work out if it’s a guilty pleasure to enjoy it or whether it’s just guilt-free god damn enjoyment. The record is such a blast and it never feels like just another hair-metal rip-off, which is great, and gives the band a more unique angle than bands like Steel Panther who just seem to be re-living the past without doing anything new.
The album feels quite dark in terms of themes and there might be a few political motifs thrown in too. It’s not for everybody and it might be a record where one day it’s the best thing since sliced bread and the next it sounds majestically awful. ‘Live Free Or Die’ is a track which stands out and would be possibly be the band’s signature anthem at live shows. It’s here where frontman Johnny Gunn shines and we hear his fantastic range.
The gratifying thing about the record is that there’s no messing around at all. There’s not really any ten minute guitar solos or prevaricating, just a bunch of catchy songs. There’s a depth to the record and with it being well-produced, the mix of synth, ear-splitting guitars and a great drum setup sounds fantastic when turned up to eleven.
The downside to the album is the fact that it’s terribly camp, but for some this might be a positive. Also, the slower tracks don’t work and the record would probably work better without tracks like ‘Irreversible’ and ‘Follow Your Instincts’, as the OTT factor just gets pushed a little too far.
It’s a confusing album as it’s hard to work out exactly which direction Peepshow want to go in. On one hand, there seems to be some serious themes dealt with on the record, but on the other the band aren’t taking themselves seriously at all. Maybe the band doesn’t know which direction they’re heading in themselves, but unfortunately that makes the record seem muddled.
Overall, ‘Brand New Breed’ is an album which will appeal to anyone wanting to indulge in some pretty cheesy rock songs, but most of all will please any die hard Peepshow fans. Underneath all the make-up, Peepshow have proved they’re all first-class musicians with this record, but is it any more than a guilty pleasure? Probably not.
Written by Greg Spencer