The name PKP may not really stick with you, but its new album Sleepless contains plenty of jukebox-rockers ... modern rock tunes you'd sing along with in a crowded bar, asking your friends, "Who is this band, anyway?"
Formerly easier to remember as Pete Killed Pete, the Pittsburgh-area group isn't playing the most revolutionary music, admittedly, but it makes the most of a couple of distinct advantages. Drummer Andy Toerper really knows how to swing a driving rock beat with minimal bullshit, and guitarist Chase McCullough digs hard at the fretboard, with occasional Kill 'Em All intensity.
The 12 songs on Sleepless divide into two major food groups ... dark, raunchy riffs with surfy, Motorhead guitar licks, and bright, crunchy modern-rock anthems a la Foo Fighters. In other words, beef jerky and Reese's Pieces. Spicing up this menu are sprinkles of Jimmy Eat World and Smashing Pumpkins, especially on "Refrain," one of the best songs.
In between these two groups, PKP mixes in a couple sensitive-guy ballads. When hearts hit sleeves, many a hard-rock band has waded into the soup of Creedish woe-foolery. PKP emerges with a little Matchbox 20 on its face, but no real harm done.
The band's definitely at its best when the navel-gazing takes a back seat, the rhythm section leans back on the beat and the songs are allowed to go their own rowdy ways. The same things that make you love and love-to-hate the Foo Fighters' "Monkey Wrench" and "Hero" will make you love and hate a lot of the songs on Sleepless. Pass the PCP, er, PKP.