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Templeton Pek – Scratches and Scars

February 8, 2011 by  

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Templeton Pek – Scratches and Scars

NAME: Templeton Pek
ALBUM: Scratches and Scars
DATE: 21February2011

LABEL: Smalltown Records


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Underwhelming Shouty Punk By Numbers

LOCATION: Birmingham

LINE UP: Neal Mitchell – vocals/bass, Kev Green – guitar/backing vocals and Chris Houghton – drums


WHAT’S THE STORY?: Templeton Pek are one of those bands whose name gets bandied around alongside straightforward punks Millencolin, Pennywise and No Use For A Name, yet nobody seems to know who they are. (Yes, I am as surprised as you that most of those guys are still going strong..) The three guys from Birmingham have earned themselves a steadfast fanbase by plonking themselves firmly on every concievable tour line-up and promoting themselves relentlessly. Sure, releasing half-a-minute long single ‘Thirty Seconds Too Far’ seems a tad trite and gimicky, a punk ’21 Seconds,’ if you will, but their hearts are in the right place, using the track to raise money and awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Daaawww, cuddly punks. Nice. Wins points.

Additional points must be given for the fact that none other than big metal daddy Bruce Dickinson (yes!) has loudly lauded the band in the press, referring to their debut, ‘No Association’ as being full of ‘razor sharp little nuggets.’ High praise indeed.

SOUNDS LIKE: Here, too in ‘Scratches and Scars’, there be nuggets. Unfortunately these are not the shiny little nuggets of gold Dickinson envisions. Far be it from me to disagree with the great man, but the songs on this album are more like chicken nuggets, if you will. Samey, predictable chicken nuggets, like your mum used to cook you after school, inbetween doing the million other things that mums do. They would turn out burned to a crisp on one side, soggy on the other, leaving half the breadcrumbs on the baking tray. Hastily, they would be served with equally limp chips and dollop of own brand ketchup. Wholly uninspiring, but ample sustinance for your younger self as you relaxed in front of CBBC, barely noticing your meal yet harbouring a dull, childish appreciation towards the mother that cooked it for you.

This is the issue with Templeton Pek; despite their admirable DIY ethos, they are not all that exciting. Sure, they controlled the entire process of recording and producing the album themselves, but with this type of music, hooks are important. If you’re only going to use the same few chords and fast drum patterns on each track, you better make goshdarn sure you wrangle at least a catchy chorus out of them every now and again. Otherwise your album will sound like a stodgy mess of snotty punk vocals, indie-ish background shouting and crystal clear guitars with nowhere to go. And that’s very sad.

These guys sound an awful like the now greying (but still great) Offspring and AFI, the only difference being that these guys perfected the art of the chorus, keeping each album tight and perfectly formed, throwing up gold at every opportunity. Perhaps it is unfair to compare such a relatively fresh band to such greats, but Templeton Pek clearly have the ability to produce songs as great as those that came before them, and it’s a great shame that they don’t quite get there this time. Even with repeated listens, no. Genius occasionally seems to float by them, then leaps back into the ether, maddeningly out of reach. Closing track ‘Slow Burn’ is the closest they get to a truly solid track, with it’s Biffy-esque vocals and sweeping wall-of-noise guitars. If they carried on down this route, Templeton Pek would be a force to be reckoned with, differentiating themselves from the glut of punk out there that sounds exactly like this. For now though, they are merely as lukewarm as an after school dinner.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You like your punk stodgy, with a side of Offspring and fries..


Submitted By Nadia



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