After listening to Peloton, you’re left with impressions of tweeness & Pop sensibilities which seem to overshadow, in your mind, the actual record.
There is, in actuality, a fair bit of heavyweight, distorted guitar riffing on Peloton. Take for instance the Post-Rock influenced, Yo La Tengo-esque Grunge thrash of Repeat Failure. Its blistering noise is, nevertheless, infused with melodic pleasantness. Or the quiet/loud dynamics of the New Wave tinged College Rock of Russian Orthodox. Even gentler tracks tend to have sections of excitable stompbox shredding to propel them along.
There are also touches of less abrasive psychedelia like the madcap antics of Blackpool. Moody Post Rock bass lines amble alongside Syd Barrett style Psych rhythms. There’s a sound collage feel to it too, which feels alien on an otherwise very organic sounding album.
One key impression that Peloton gives is one of dreaminess. They sit sonically somewhere between fellow Scots Belle and Sebastian & Shoegaze/Dream Pop heavyweights Slowdive. This is especially prominent in some of the pleasant harmonising between singers Alan Woodward & Emma Pollock, like on the transcendent Twee Popper Pull The Wires From The Wall or superb opener Everything Goes Around The Water.
Melodically, Peloton sits in a unique place. Off-kilter, almost childlike, Pop melodies which seem to draw liberally from both of the key influences I’ve mentioned, Slowdives Dream Pop & the Twee Pop of Belle and Sebastian. There are echoes of what many know as Britpop here. The daytime Radio One vibes of And So The Talking Stopped or the Shine Compilation swagger of stellar closer, The Weaker Argument Defeats The Stronger.
You can probably tell from the song titles that I’ve mentioned so far that they love a good long title, especially for a band whose album titles are typically brief: Peloton & Hate, for example. I think it was probably these long winded, verbally clever titles which first drew me to the band. I’m sure The Weaker Argument Defeats The Stronger was the first song of theirs I heard (on a free magazine CD or Tape) & encouraged me to buy this excellent album.
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