PETROGRAD - Trigger Happy

Petrograd - Trigger Happy

15 songs
57:23 minutes
***** ****
Hungry Ghosts


Next to local crap bands like T42 and Cool Feet who constantly brag about their success stories, Petrograd have quietly started a revolution from the bottom up, and since their foundation about seven years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if they had sold already more albums like the two aforementioned bands taken together, except that they have located their market from the very beginning outside of Luxembourg. After a lot of rumours about the uncertain future of Petrograd, there's finally a new release, and even if it's not a regular album, this compilation is more interesting than most of its kind. Released by a small American independent label, this CD collects mostly contributions from split-releases (with the likes of Daddy Longleg, Unabomber, J. Church and Contravene) plus some material from early EPs. The goal of the compilation is to introduce Petrograd's body of work to the United States, and I think the job couldn't have done any better. While there are no tracks from the regular albums Isabelle, abc and 911, most songs have been only released on vinyl, the instrumental opener Play Now and a chill-out remix of the band's hit song July 20th are even unreleased (although these tracks alone wouldn't justify the purchase, being not really that representative). While completists probably own all the different split-releases, they'd get another really rare song, Pathetic Campfire Romance, previously only released on a CD-R compilation.

To those who have never heard of Petrograd, I should also write some words about their genre. It would be oversimplifying to dismiss them as a pop punk band, although that sounds so subversive, considering the explosive content of their lyrics. So they are more melodic than your average punk band, but more aggressive and focused than power pop bands. A fitting comparison might be later Hüsker Dü with a severe dose of amphetamines. The mixed male-female vocals sound very emotional, while the fast yet melodic music not only conveys a strong sense of energy, but also manages to write exceedingly catchy songs.

While their last album 911 showed the band at its creative peak, Trigger Happy is a perfect companion to that album, portraying Petrograd from a sketchier but no less charming side. 9 points, because the two remixes are nice pieces of novelty, but not necessarily what we have come to love about this band. And who knows, with so many more songs from split-releases and early EPs not yet featured on this compilation, we might even hope one day for a successor. Vinyl-phobics like me really enjoy compilations like this!

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