Tasty and toasty
Pete Galub and the Annuals' warm ballads and radiant rockers are smart and warm enough to keep out the New York winter for a while.
By ROBIN EISGRAU
On his debut CD, "Boy Gone Wrong," Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Pete Galub displays a tender incisiveness that draws the listener in with warm overtones and wraps them in a snug blanket of feeling.
Through his songs of yearning and reflection, the native New Yorker conveys a sense of emotion that's at times both raw and refined, intricate in its sensitivity. His songs bring to mind the work of Big Star's Chris Bell and Sebadoh's Lou Barlow in their heartfelt lyricism.|
Galub has a quiet demeanor and radiates an intelligence that makes him seem wise beyond his years. Not a cocky hipster or overwrought wannabe, Galub is a regular guy whose talent seems to glow within.
Where did Galub's songwriting sensibility come from? Not where you might guess. As an influence, he cites not a particular band but the heady artistic cauldron of early MTV. Seriously.
"Videos, especially early '80s ones, used to have stories and
offbeat humor and images that were very entertaining
and creative," he explains. "Those early days of
MTV were kind of like how people describe AM radio in
the mid- to late '60s. And that was the environment
that fostered my initial interest in music."
The Annuals came about because that's about how often they were able to get together, between Galub's years out of town.
As he recalls it:
"The Annuals were originally just a onetime jam session
between three songwriters myself, Chris Moore [previously of the seminal '80s hardcore band Negative Approach] and Django
Haskins which occurred in the summer of 1997 in
Chris's cheap, rat-infested rehearsal space, which was
affectionately known as 'the space.'"
"We were all teaching each other new
songs we had been working on and swapping instruments
in the process, and we recorded the 'session' on a
handheld tape recorder," Galub says. "When we listened back to the
tape we were excited by it, and we all had a blast.
We wanted to do it again but, with me being in Ohio
for school, we didn't end up meeting until about a
"And then I went to live in Ireland for a
year, so we had our third 'session' when I got back,
about a year after that. So, I dubbed us the Annuals,
because that's what we were, a bunch of friends that
'rehearsed' once a year."
Those sessions make up seven of the tracks on the CD "Boy Gone Wrong," whose frosted late-night feel which makes it a fitting soundtrack for these winter months. The Annuals provide a precise and accomplished backing which brings the songs to full flower. They've got a sense of chemistry among them and seem to be listening intensely to each other as they play, which makes for an organic listening experience.
"Feeling is at the forefront," Galub says.
"Sometimes it's sad, sometimes it's funny. It depends
on the song and your perspective, I guess."
There's a gentle ache to Galub's ballad "I Will Not Be Denied" that may very well be the sound of a heart trying steadfastly not to break. "My Heart Is A Theme Park" is sonorously knit from the angst of a yearning soul. Galub and co. crank things up and rock out a bit on the disc's closer, "Serving Spoon," which ties things up in a raucous bow. At the end of "Boy Gone Wrong" the listener is left wanting more, which is the most anyone can expect from a debut, and here's hoping we'll hear more impressively fleshed out emotional pictures from Galub in the future.
|JANUARY 10, 2003|
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