Friday, August 03, 2007

Review: Steve Pearson and British Racing Green

Steve Pearson, of Seattle powerpop classics The Heats/Heaters, has been working in and around this genre in Seattle for neigh on 30 years. So, he deserves to be commended for his longevity and persistence if nothing else. Fortunately for all of us, he also deserves to be commended for his solid songwriting, as well. I just got my hands on the newest release by Steve Pearson and British Racing Green, titled "Impatient," and it's really quite great.

Steve's always had a Beatles fixation, and you can hear that on these recordings. But, I hear a ton of the Byrds and some of the Everly Brothers here, as well. The crazy thing is it really doesn't sound dated or like a period piece. It's a credit to Steve (and the whole band, in fact) that they're not simply churning out recreations of the past. While there are obvious rock-n-roll touchstones guiding them, it doesn't sound like they've been living in a cave somewhere for 40 years.

The disc is generally more strummy and jangly than it is rocking -- but "Complicated" rocks in a Eddie Cochran/Summertime Blues kind of way and "Still a Way" would have been perfectly at home on a Heats record. Steve's trademark endearingly nasal voice is right up front, joined frequently on harmony or co-lead vocals by Lucette Pearson (who I can only assume is his wife... anyone confirm?). The consistent description that comes to mind here is "catchy." Steve hasn't lost his knack for writing hummable melodies and memorable choruses.

Don't believe me? Take a listen to this mp3 of "Long Way To Heaven," the third track off of the disc. That's a solid pop tune right there. [Blogger's note: Steve has this available for download from his myspace page, so I feel okay about including the mp3 here, but you should still go buy this record]

While they seem more comfortable playing parties and outdoor festivals than typical Seattle rock clubs these days, the band is doing quite a few live shows. In fact, in the unlikely event that anyone happens to be reading this from Billings, Montana, they're playing in your town tomorrow night. But, they've been playing around Washington quite a bit this summer, and if you have a chance to catch them, I recommend you do it.

Steve Pearson and British Racing Green

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gary: Yes, Lucette Pearson is Steve Pearsons wife. She shares vocal duties with Steve when we play out live and sings lead vocals on "The Heats" songs,"When Your Mine" and "Some Other Guy".
She plays a Rickenbacker 12 String electric with a Fender Twin , and on the New "Impatient" CD, Lucette is the lead vocalist on "Just Cause", "Younger Than Yesterday", and "Goodbye Mr Jefferson.