After listening to The Roaring Mechanism I get the feeling that I would enjoy P.E.E.'s music a lot more if the band was less concerned with prog rock rhythm shifts and more willing to let the sense of play apparent in their song titles shine through their mathematical guitar equations. "I Can't Wait 'Til I get Rickets," for example, lacks the melodic punch necessary to live up to the promise of its title. The vocals sit low in the mix, which may account for part of this. They also seem to have been recorded pretty thin, which helps them get lost amid the well-recorded guitar tones. The focus here does seem to be the intricate guitar interplay that takes place between Jim Stanley and Kelly Green (who also share vocal duties) and the solid rhythm work of bassist Tiber Scheer and drummer Andee Connors. Great stereo separation and tonality really make the dual guitar lines stand out, and while it sounds for the most part as if the band set up, got a good sound and let the tape roll, there are enough variations in sound from song to song to keep things interesting from an instrumental perspective. It's just too bad the vocal lines aren't out in front more. When the melodies and lyrics come through a bit more clearly and the band let's itself rock with less concern for quirky time signatures, as in the raucous "The Misguided Self-Punishers," things get a lot more interesting and the male/female vocal interplay proves just as interesting as the guitars. (Absolutely Kosher Records, 417 Frederick Street, San Francisco, CA 94117)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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