The Pedaljets, Dan Jones & the Squids – Tickets – miniBar – Kansas City, MO – February 15th, 2020

The Pedaljets, Dan  Jones & the Squids
In the Disaster Room

The Pedaljets

Dan Jones & the Squids

Ages 21+
The Pedaljets album release party, Dan Jones & the Squids



The Pedaljets

Kansas City rock & roll powerhouse the Pedaljets have spent decades flying just under the radar. From their inception in 1984, their raucous brand of scuzzy, melodic jangle-pop and jagged post-punk placed them in league with some of the decade’s most beloved rockers, from The Replacements and Hüsker Dü to Meat Puppets and The Flaming Lips, all of whom the Pedaljets have performed alongside on stages across the United States. Their music has received critical acclaim from countless publications, including The A.V. Club, Diffuser.FM, Uncut Magazine, Blurt Magazine, The Big Takeover, and the notoriously critical CREEM Magazine. Twist The Lens continues to build upon the legacy the Pedaljets have created over the past three decades, showcasing the comfort and maturity of their years spent performing together as well as the electric fervor that has permeated their music since the beginning.

Twist The Lens is only the second new release from the Pedaljets since their reformation in the late 2000s, arriving six years after their most recent LP, What’s In Between. While What’s In Between served as a reintroduction to the band’s Midwestern college rock, Twist The Lens finds the band pushing themselves further than ever before, abandoning the constrictions of genre and focusing on expanding their sound. At its core, the melodic, proto-grunge sound that characterized the Pedaljets’ earlier releases still reigns supreme, but with a deeper exploration of melody, harmony, and pop-rock influence, as well as a newfound writing ethos that allowed the members to push themselves into unfamiliar sonic territory. Vocalist/guitarist Mike Allmayer says, “When I demo a song, I always have ideas for arrangements and all the other parts. But then once the band gets to work on it, I’m like, ‘Well this is going in a totally different direction, but it’s great.’ That’s the beauty of working with these guys for thirty-five years. Some of the directions we’d take with these songs took me outside of my comfort zone at first, but we decided to follow them down that road and it always led to something better.”

Twist The Lens was recorded in three main sessions, produced by the Pedaljets alongside their former lead guitarist Paul Malinowski (Shiner, Season To Risk). Though the Pedaljets core trio of Allmayer, bassist Matt Kesler, and drummer Rob Morrow has remained a constant throughout their tenure as a band, they’ve worked with multiple lead guitarists throughout the years, with Twist The Lens being the first record to showcase their newest addition, Cody Wyoming. Bringing in Wyoming, and working alongside Malinowski, allowed the new songs to benefit from a fresh and outside perspective, while still keeping the album within the Pedaljets family. It also lent itself to a more utilitarian process where, as Allmayer describes, “We would constantly listen back and ask ourselves, ‘Are you hearing something this song needs?’ We were really focused on pushing ourselves to make the best music we can and being extra critical.” To round out the team, the band brought in veteran producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile) to mix the record and reunited with Archer Prewitt (The Sea and Cake) whose artwork has adorned the last three Pedaljets album covers.

Kicking off the album, “Disassociation Blues” explores the intricacies of romantic communication, with Allmayer’s hypnotic vocals drifting atop a repeating, post-punk channeling guitar line. The track continues to build throughout its three and a half minute run time, adding sparkling layers of guitars to create a soundscape that’s equal parts R.E.M. and Joy Division. “Downtown,” meanwhile, takes its sonic cues from Tom Petty, with Allmayer’s lyrics painting in broad strokes, creating a skeleton framework of hopelessness for listeners to fill in with their own experiences.

Elsewhere on the record, Allmayer delves into an examination of loss. “Twist The Lens” postulates that there’s no permanence and that everything is inherently fleeting as Allmayer sings, “When you twist the lens / you can’t go back again.” “Sleepy Girl,” on the other hand, is a beacon of light in the darkness. Written in a particularly tumultuous period in Allmayer’s romantic life, “Sleepy Girl” observes budding romance from afar as a reminder that even in the times when you’ve lost everything, there’s hope for something beautiful to arise.

Once hailed as “Kansas City’s answer to the Replacements,” the Pedaljets formed in the mid-80s and immediately began touring the United States nonstop, gaining critical acclaim and support slots with some of the decade’s biggest acts, but never becoming a household name on their own. After releasing two LPs, 1988’s Today Today and 1989’s Pedaljets, the band split up. After laying low for a few years, Allmayer and Morrow formed the band Grither and signed with MCA before Morrow decided to go back to school and relocate to Scotland. Kesler owned and operated the Kansas City vintage music shop Midwestern Musical Company, selling gear to artists including St. Vincent, The Arcade Fire, Jason Isbell and more. The Pedaljets couldn’t stay apart forever, though, and returned in 2008 with a re-recorded version of their self-titled album and a rekindled hunger to perform.

The culmination of a long musical journey for the Pedaljets, Twist The Lens contains some of their most masterful songwriting to date and reinforces their status as one of the Midwest’s greatest musical exports.

Twist the Lens is out February 14th, 2020 via Electric Moth Records.

Dan Jones & the Squids

Dan Jones and The Squids play punk-influenced indie rock and power pop from the songbook of Dan Jones. The band was an open collective in the Northwest from 2003 to 2013. The KC lineup has features Dan, Steve, and Boojie.

'We Live in a World that is Out of this World' is the new DJ&S album available at all fine record stores.

Venue Information:
3810 Broadway Blvd.
Kansas City, MO