Album Review: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, 'Pizazz'
Artist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5
Since the announcement in February of a fourth studio album, The Flock has been anticipating the release of Pizazz to fluff their feathers with some fresh tunes. Nationally-rising, psychedelic-funk quartet Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have brought their funkiest-fun energy into the new album, gifting us with 11-tracks to make us break out dancing on the street and pound on the steering wheel in our cars.
Greg, Jeremy, Alex, Ben and light-master Manny have been making their stops across the country on their Pizazz Tour, so far selling out shows in New York, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. The guys are continuously bringing their fans all they got at every show and climbing up the rockstar ladder.
Pizazz is Pigeons’ first studio album with current drummer, Alex Petropulos, who has really added some extra heat to the band since his role in 2015. The album was recorded in the guys’ hometown of Baltimore, which you can sense helped bring about the creative juices when recording.
Starting in mid-September, the band has been releasing singles off of Pizazz, prepping us more each day for the release of the full-length album.
You truly don’t know the groovy impact of these guys until you experience one of their live shows, so respectively, the album starts off with “Fun in Funk,” a song upheld to the band’s funky energy and stage personality. The song really shows off the band’s playful spirit while playing together while also highlighting Greg’s lively lyrics and vocals.
I was really impressed with the studio recording of “Ocean Flows,” which is also featured on the band’s first live album, The Great Outdoors Jam. The chorus lyrics have an echoing, atmospheric sound to them, really fit for the song’s theme. Jeremy’s guitar breakout is crisp and clean, matching perfectly with Alex’s high-energy drumming.
“The Liquid” has become a fan-favorite for it’s outrageous spirit and so it was righteously deemed a spot on the new album. As the fourth track off the album, “The Liquid” accents the band’s continuous crazy nature while Ben slays his deep bass riffs throughout the song.
Fans got an early release of the track “Doc” on October 13, which is inspired by a Baltimore homeless man that became known by the band in their early days of playing shows at the 8×10. The track has a jazzy feel to it, and features edgy trumpet and saxophone cues by Danny Davis and Mario D’Ambrosio, deeming it one of the hottest and funkiest tracks off the album.
My personal favorite off the album is “Fox and Toad” which I haven’t heard before since it’s release on the album. The guys purely harmonize the lyrics, “It’s your mysterious ways, yeah,” while the whole song gives a beachy, tropical vibe. The song finishes with extra catchy harmonization from the guys, “Pulling over on the side of the road with the fox and the toad and the traffic cone.”
Pigeons are touring for the rest of the year with Flamingosis and the Magic Beans in support of their new album. Make sure to catch them for their two-night New Year’s Eve run at the Beachland Ballroom on December 29 and 30 with Jones for Revival and Earphorik before they celebrate the coming of 2018 in Covington, Kentucky for New Year’s Eve at Madison Theatre.
You can buy a copy of Pizazz to joyfully play on repeat in your car, or stream Pizazz on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
*Photo by Melissa Bailey Photography & Design