PEDALJETS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Today Today (Twilight) 1988
Pedaljets (Communion) 1989
This nifty Kansas alterno-pop trio lays noisy rock energy and unmitigated passion into melodies strong enough to withstand rough handling. Singer/guitarist Mike Allmayer does a really good job on both, giving Today Today an intriguing sound Byrdslike harmonies and punky Replacemental rawness that works just as well (albeit differently) at high and low volumes.
The addition of a second guitarist and more stylistic variation complicates things a bit on the ambitious but uncompelling Pedaljets. Stretching out and opening up his songwriting, Allmayer decompresses the first album's tersely surging pop with empty spaces, slower rhythms and acoustic guitars; the results are enjoyable but not as distinctive. Had the group not made Today Today this record would have been a credible starting point. As a developmental step, however, Pedaljets is a disappointing step in the wrong direction. (The CD adds two songs.)[Ira Robbins]
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