PET PEEVES “Mild Fantasy Violence” C40 (Personal Archives)


Ripped from the tabloid headlines, Pet Peeves’s Mild Fantasy Violence makes good on the otherworldly chaos promised in the title – but only mildly! Because if you had full-on, red-band, TV-MA fantasy violence, we wouldn’t be here having this conversation. We’d be at the hospital begging for someone to reconstruct our eardrums following what I would only imagine to be a death metal/speed jazz onslaught of serrated, blindingly fast, and barely tolerable weaponized sound. Some of you might find that unpleasant.
This isn’t that.
That doesn’t mean Pet Peeves, the Alex Maerbach/Joe Cavaliere duo, can’t get a little crazy with the cheese wiz, ’cause they do. They do big time. But they’re much more content to wade in the noise-rock/post-punk end of the pool, where they shred as much as they want but don’t have to do it at dangerous levels. They lurch and jive, using guitars and drums to cut in and out of their compositions, divebombing unsuspecting indie nerds with massive riffage one minute and whipping out sheet-metal walls of feedback the next. Their bag of tricks is a rock lover’s dream!
If you want to think about the damage Mild Fantasy Violence will do in comparison to the full-body onslaught of hard-R violence, consider it the equivalent of lopping the top off a pumpkin and scooping out all the grossness, the music carving up the interior like semi-sharp instruments. So, nothing happens to your human head, just the imaginary pumpkin one. You can picture that, can’t you?
Mild Fantasy Violence’s TV-14 rating should not scare you off – it’s a heckuva ride.