Personnel: Matthew Racher (drums, programming).
Audio Mixer: Cam Blackwood.
Photographer: Rob Blackham.
On their acclaimed debut Soft Friday, Coves proved that they could gaze at their shoes with the best of them. As lovely as that album was, it lacked the bite of their early singles. That ferocity returns on Peel, which, as the title suggests, strips away some of the misty sounds that blurred John Ridgard and Beck Wood's edge on Soft Friday. Considering that the duo moved to London before recording Peel, it's not surprising that these songs hit harder. Coves' sneers are firmly in place on early highlights like "Stormy," an inspired blend of pop, garage rock, and shoegaze that echoes their excellent single "Last Desire," and "Cadavalier," which surrounds Wood's commanding vocals with guitars that sting instead of swirl as she rips into a "dead boy talking." The duo's flair for drama is as strong as ever, and teeters between deadly serious and camp on songs such as "Tripping Over Lust" and the surfy, death-obsessed "You're Evil." Unusual touches in their sound, like the melodica on "I'm Not Here" or the hazy keyboards on "Tongue Ties," deliver standout results. ~ Heather Phares