Songs that are a little too close to home scare me. I am speaking to you as a bloke who isn’t on Facebook, doesn’t have Instagram, and hates Whatsapp. So when Pkew Pkew Pkew write a song called “Read Receipts” and talk about how they make them nervous, they might as well be talking to me.

A quick history lesson, before the world went to hell, in 2019 I went to see The Hold Steady. The support that night were ace. They had a song called “The Polynesian.” They were Pkew Pkew Pkew.

We’re all caught up.

Which brings us to “Siiick Days.” More typical brilliance from the Canadians, produced by Pete Steinkopf from The Bouncing Souls, it’s choc full of stuff like “The Dumbest Thing I Ever Done” – they are the working class, they are the geeks. And they write songs unlike anyone else. No one else makes a hook out of “I really hope that guy sells me my Playstation back.” No one told Pkew Pkew Pkew.

“Farside Bathroom” – we’ve all had some “alone time” in the bathroom, but we haven’t all written songs about it.

“Hot Tub Or Bust” goes all The Strokes on us, although to be fair Julian Casablancas, to my knowledge, never wrote the line “take a shower or f**kin’ don’t,” but that’s why this band is better.

There’s a line between pop-punk and Gaslight Anthem, and this band – now with Kate Maclean on guitar and keys – walks it brilliantly on “Trooper Cover Band,” and after the weird interlude “Johan,” there’s something anthemic about “Learning To Share,” and the ability of Mike Warne to craft anything into an incredibly catchy punk song is never better shown than on “Trouble On The Tracks.”

“Goodnights” is going to be a staple of the live shows, dedicated to nights out and the prospect of violence, and “The Night John Buck Hit Three Home Runs” is a beautiful ballad, and it doesn’t get written if it’s not from the heart. It’s probably the best thing here. As someone who misses his grandad every Saturday night after the match, I think I can relate.

The press release they sent with this said: “Pkew Pkew Pkew are poised to go from underrated to overrated.” And it’s true, to be fair, that there are many bands that are this good and have a much more household name. I mean, would Billy Joe Armstrong write a song in a bog? No.

Anyway, if this gets them a breakthrough in a major way, that would be sick (see, I am down with the kids).

Rating: 8.5/10

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