Pete Krebs and the Gossamer Wings
Sweet Ona Rose
Cavity Search Records
Someone in the press kit that comes alongside of this record calls Pete Krebs a “musical chameleon.” The image seems pretty appropriate, as he has done stints covering bluegrass, pop, punk and Americana through various bands and solo projects. Sweet Ona Rose doesn’t cover quite so wide a range of territory, but it has enough quality twists and turns within a smaller range — sort of like the light motorcycles in the movie Tron — to make this a rather intriguing pop record.
Krebs and his Wings, featuring former Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd, kick off with “Johnny Come Lately,” a pure pop gem that musically reminds me of an old Billy Bragg tune. There’s even a nice catchy trumpet riff that adds to the Brit feel. There isn’t any vocal resemblance to Bragg, however, as Krebs more closely resembles the rough, flat vocals of some Midwesterner like Paul Westerberg. From there, the band weaves though mostly guitar pop songs laced with rootsy, filtered sounds of organ, steel guitar and some more brass. Two acoustic numbers almost mark the halfway and ending points perfectly, adding a quieter feel in between the head bobbing. One of these, “Pacific Standard Time,” is a catchy, quiet gem with a nice chorus of “She’s California Dreamin’/ On Pacific Standard Time.”
Sweet Ona Rose is a nice album, although it doesn’t really stand out as a great album. It’s loose at times, and sometimes has songs that tend to run together or seem a little faster than they should be played. But it also has some catchy tunes that might very well appeal to fans of Wilco, the Gourds or Jack Logan.
Cavity Search Records, P.O. Box 42246, Portland, OR 97242; http://www.cavityseachrecords.com