PBR Streetgang sound like the guerrilla marketing team for a microbrewery. The name is apt. This is exactly the type of smooth, unobtrusive, retrofuturist electro that plays in your local hipster bar. You don’t dance to this music; you knowingly bob your head as you wipe the head of a hoppy IPA from your comically oversized beard, with the sleeve of the jumper that you got in that vintage boutique that no one has heard about. The band may claim that the initials in their name refer to a Vietnam War-era patrol boat but, you could be excused for assuming it was a direct reference to Pabst Blue Ribbon.
All of which is academic. It’s the music the matters and PBR Streetgang deliver the goods on Late Night Party Line. Like your favourite pale ale, it’s smooth and unpretentious; perfect for sharing with friends. From the opening of ‘Human Being’, which features a dreamy vocal performance from Lilly Juniper, this record is as immediate, accessible, and comfortable as those battered old gutties that can only really be worn about the house these days.
Though it was recorded on modern equipment, Late Night Party Line retains the vibes of old-school electro. From Chicago house, to the European invasion of the ‘90s, via ‘80s pop, the Leeds duo play fast and loose with the samples and beats. The pair have played together for over a decade and the longevity of their relationship shows through. The 10 tracks here are so well constructed, and seamlessly arranged, that it’s difficult to believe that this is their first album.
The tracks on Late Night Party Line don’t lend themselves to individual plays. This isn’t one to be scattered in playlists. It’s an “album” album. Whether it’s played from start to finish or on shuffle, Late Night Party Line needs to be heard as a whole. It doesn’t demand it; it politely suggests it.
It’s only when the music ends and you find yourself immediately reaching for the play button to get back into it, time and time again, that Late Night Party Line reveals its true power. PBR Streetgang have found the aural equivalent of nicotine or caffeine. The absence of their music is an itch that must be scratched. I can stop listening anytime I choose. I just don’t want to. It’s not the right time. Can’t you see I’m stressed?
Check out to PBR Streetgang's Soundcloud here.