The Pedaljets have been around for a while – forming in 1984, they released several albums before reforming in the 2000s. Their second new album since getting back togther, Twist The Lens, comes out on Friday and today we’re premiering the video for its vintage rock ‘n roll single “Down Town.” It’s been six years since they released their comeback album What’s In Between and this release finds the band pushing themselves and exploring new genres and sounds outside their comfort zones.
The song is straight-ahead guitar-pop, with chord progressions and singer Mike Allmayer’s crooning delivery that immediately brings to mind that of the late, great Tom Petty. The guitar tone is jangly but with enough distortion to fall more on the “punk” side of the spectrum, “Down Town” shows the Kansas City right in their sweet spot.
Lyrically, the lyrics don’t aim to be too verbose or complicated, telling the story of a woman who only feels happy “down town,” with a video that features a punky young female cab driver giving the band members rides through a brightly-lit urban core at night. When the band members aren’t in the cab, the driver seems mostly exasperated at her other passenger’s uproarious good times.
The Pedaljets are peers and tourmates of bands like The Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Meat Puppets, giving them a pedigree that few working bands can boast. The core members of the band include Allmayer, bassist Matt Kesler and drummer Rob Morrow. For the new album, which was produced with former guitarist Paul Malinowski, the band welcomes a new guitarist into the fold, Cody Wyoming.