Hear The Track HerePete Arnold was all over the Soundclick forums around the time I reviewed his Blues Bother (September 2005), and then he promptly disappeared until now. T'wasn't because I gave him a mauling about that track, although truth to tell, I didn't find it that exciting as I said at the time. In fact, I had a few good things to say about that track as well as Streets Of My Dreams a track from the same session that produced Blues Bother. Pete comes from a very musical town - Coventry - so I expected a certain level of musicianship, and both tracks showed that he has some fine chops. Blues Bother (as you may have guessed) being a straight ahead blues, but Streets Of My Dreams was a much more solid performance and production as well as being a livelier tune.
So from 2005 to 2007 in one bound and...
These Things carries on much the same musical route mapped out back in 2005; kinda rocky, guitar driven vocal tracks with a distinct 'home produced' sound. Still, very few of the tracks that I hear on the 'Click are much more than that, so given the general level, Pete Arnold should find listeners without much trouble despite that. No that anybody but a nit picker would ever notice the difference anyway. What Pete Arnold does, there is no doubt, he does pretty well, even though there is a certain 'laid back' feeling to the music that is often the case with musicians recording themselves. See, for my money, this song IS a good one, and it kinda demands as much fire from the vocalist as it does from the track itself and in both respects I ain't hearing that.
It's a shame really because all the parts are there, just not delivered with the right sort of conviction in my estimation. Pete says in the song comments that 'it sounds a little ragged in places, but that was the idea, I assure you'. To me it doesn't sound as ragged as all that (unless you are talking about the general recording quality) but it does sound like it needs a swift kick up the butt in order to start kicking some - if you know what I mean. As I say, a perfectly decent enough song but with a stilted, dated arrangement that makes it feel like it's dragging and a vocal that doesn't so much drive the song as lay lazily on top of it. After such a period between tracks I had expected some improvement, that improvement is in the song itself not in the process of getting it all digitized, which may well explain it's unwillingness to catch fire.