PK – Listen Up!

Good music is visceral.  It’s intoxicating.  It resonates.  It’s what the band PK rocks on stage with infectious energy and of all things, an unapologetic retort.  Like a bunch of punk rockers… only they’re not punk and they’re not indie either.  They’re sort of this amalgamation of different genres, like the missing link between the Shins and the Killers with a cocky AFI flare.  The sound is so unique and universal at the same time that one can’t help but to stop… and listen.

And then the beat kicks in as drummer, Rico Rodriguez keeps time and intensity like an old pro, and all of a sudden your body’s moving, your head’s nodding, and you’re swaying to the back beat of “Berelain,” one of PK’s most piquant tracks.  Check the lyrics, “How long must I wait… Oh I can’t take the spot light off ya now… ”  It might as well be a self proclamation of what’s to come for a band that is on the verge of stardom and discovery.  “Here she comes now, knockin’ on my door…”   Their abilities far exceed the venues they play… which is to say that they can command the attention of an entire arena.  It’s only a matter of time.  And to their credit, PK is being patient with finding the right record label.  As Bass player, Mikel Van Kranenburg (Vk) said at a show in Pacific Beach in March, “..we don’t want to sign with just anyone.”  The sentiment is echoed by the entire band and IMHO, rightfully so.

And as the music keeps on, it’s with a boyish charm that helmer Travis Hawley rocks his vox on stage.  His presence is powerful and pleading at the same time.  He touts a charisma that is one part british politeness, one part american confidence and two parts mischief… undertones that fall right in line with sing-a-long tracks like “Evana Carina” and “London.”  Mikel Vk’s tight bass line for the latter is the perfect compliment to Hawley’s punkish crooning and part of the reason that its a favorite of my ten-year old daughter.  Yes, PK is for all ages and they are ready for a record deal.  And it has everything to do with smart lyrics, Hawley’s clean voice (a recordable gem), Rodriguez’s angstful, straight forward, drum beat, Vk’s honest, steady bass line, and guitar rockers Nick Fotinakes and Matt DePauw with their delectably mad exchanges on the strings.  Their riffs play compliment to Rodgriguez’s fills making each track feel more like an event than simply the next song on the album.

So who are PK?  What does the name stand for?  Penalty Kicks?  Preachers Kids?  An online gamers abbreviation for Player Kill?  Alas, no… There is more to the name than a simple abbreviation.  When asked, Hawley noted that they like the mystery surrounding the name but that it’s origin comes from the story The Power of One about a South African boxer named Peekay.  In the novel, Peekay exudes an endearing vulnerability and sense of humor that makes it easy for readers to identify with.  Not a far cry from the likability PK the band projects from the stage that allows new and existing fans alike to connect with them.  So perhaps PK are a band of pop-punkish lyrical pugilists rocking music for all ages.  It’s up to their fans to decide, old and new alike.  One thing is certain… they are talented and worth the listen.  So take a moment and check them out because … to pull a line from their hit, London… “Hold up, cuz you ain’t never felt like this before…!”  And the truth is you haven’t heard a band like this before.  To their credit, PK’s sound is their own.  They are PK.

Links to PK:


Upcoming Shows

PK – Into the Roaring

Berelain Video

SeaWolves Video

London Video

Words and Music:

Words and Music: A Little’s Enough.

Words and music… they go together.  They need each other.  That’s what Eddie (Michael Parre) told Word Man (Tom Berenger) in the movie Eddie and the Cruisers.  Perhaps they do go together… like driving in the car and singing out loud.  You know you do it.  The question is with what words and what music?  And yes, I’ve had Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” blasting in the car.  I’m man enough to admit it.  And when it happened just that one time on that totally random day (I swear) … I owned it baby.
But today it was Temple of the Dog and I was on a Hunger Strike.  Oh yes.  And I sounded good.  Eddie Vedder good, and I don’t care what the carload next to me thought when I turned and saw them laughing during my Chris Cornell Falsetto… I looked them in the eyes and belted it out! “I’m going Hungryaaheeeyyyyyeeeahhhh!”  Ok, maybe I’ll stick to the lower register from now on.  But really it doesn’t matter how I sound, because in the car with the radio up, I always sound good.  And so do you.  And it’s in those moments that the lyrics have a tendency to sneak up on us and we suddenly hear them in a new way that is unexpected and it changes our perspective on the day, or on a person, a friend, a spouse, a child.  Yeah.   It’s happened to you.  And today it happened to me too.

The Band: Angels and Airwaves.
The Song, “A Little’s Enough.”
The Lyrics: Sorry, I have to say it but you look like you’re sad, Your smile is gone; I noticed it bad, the cure is if you let in just a little more love, I promise you this; A little’s Enough

You see, the truth is, you’re gonna be in your car riding solo soon enough.  And you’ll find a song that makes you think of someone or something that matters (because words and music do that), and when you do, you can keep the song and the emotion to yourself by locking it back up in the car or you can take it with you when you get out and remember that it’s not that much of a stretch to go from keeping it with you to sharing it.  It’s just a question of who you share it with.  And well, if you do share it, I promise you this, a little’s enough…