The Peenbeets

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

The Peenbeets

The Peenbeets Get Cancelled (Starco) Having discovered the Peenbeets late, I'm saddened that the Austin band's second album may be the finale for this River City mini-institution. For nearly a decade, the Peenbeets, led by longtime Chronicle music scribe Greg Beets, have been combining major chords and post-punk irony, capitalizing on the inspired sitcom parody alluded to by this disc's title. TPGC includes rave-ups of local and national advertising -- including a doubly comic version of "Meaty Cheesy Boys," Jack in the Box's unbearable spoof of boy bands, and a trippy, hardcore interpolation of the DQ theme -- as well as skits that trace the fictional devolution of a band headed for its real-life demise. Despite all of the humor, however, the Peenbeets are more than a one-joke pony. Forget labels like grunge, post-pop punk, and emo, the band's Ramones-inflected no-wave rock has a contagious quality all its own: "Hey High School" and "Welcome to My Bedroom" clocking in at 1:47 and 2:27 respectively, and are just two of the quasi-classics found on Cancelled. Of course, most of this schtick works better live, where beer, amplification, and variable production values help magnify the band's wacky expressiveness, though the album's faux DVD packaging is clever(!). But to answer the question posed on this disc: "Do we really want to leave our self-esteem in the crusty hands of some sexually frustrated hack writing for the local alternative weekly?" I say "Why not?" Your band will be sorely missed. Sniff.

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