There are times where a band’s name and album cover provide little or no indication of what to expect. And when said references offer an image that’s the exact opposite of the music that accompanies those initial impressions, it may dissuade any initial encounter. The fact is, Great Peacock’s handle and the peacock covered skull head that adorns the cover of the band’s new album Gran Pavo Real offer no real reason to give any further thought to the music that may reside within.
Consequently, the potential listener is best advised to forget everything they may have been taught about the importance of first impressions. Despite any lack of familiarity, Great Peacock serves up a sound that resonates and reverberates as it soars towards the stratosphere. Take for example, the song “Begging to Stay.” The track combines the emotive plea conveyed by the title with a ballad that’s flush with emotional urgency. The solid grooves of “Hideaway” and “Rattlesnake” boast a rootsy rock feel that often brings to mind those denim-clad denizens of Laurel Canyon, circa the early ‘70s. There’s clear commitment here, and even the simple sentiments delivered by the soothing “All I Really Want Is You,” the Eagles-like rocker “Heartbreak Comin’ Down” and the questionable intentions of “Let’s Get Drunk Tonight” leave an emphatic impression that belies any sense of objectivity. The prime accouterments are here — agreeable vocals, ringing guitars, keyboards, pedal steel (courtesy of Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket) and a staunch rhythm section that underscores it all — and indeed, that basic formula serves their style well.
In truth, these Great Peacocks aren’t dependent on any more plumage than they boast here, thanks mainly to the melodic caress and earnest intents they convey so convincingly. Suffice it to say, Gran Pavo Real is, as its name implies, the real deal.