Around this time last year I reviewed This Is The Arrivals sophomore album A Million Kicks and was seriously amazed with it. A year later PDR release their debut On A Whim, which turns out to be another astonishing electro-pop album by a German band.
I first heard of PDR when they still used the moniker Punk’d Royal. Back in 2010 their released an EP titled Muscles which had a song called One Room One Hour on it that was a kind of a local hit. Reasons for the change of name were mostly pragmatic, they say, abbreviating their name to its initials. I must say the somewhat catchier name fits their new found sound.
PDR are the two brothers Aljoscha (guitar, vocals) and Niklas (bass) as well as Matthias (drums). The album also features guest vocals by Helene who I hope will become a full member soon.
PDR spent most of 2012 recording their album. They have also opened for Darwin Deez and Kyla La Grange among others.
The album kicks off with the previously released single Drive. I wouldn’t be surprised if this song was indeed inspired by the movie. Drive is a mid-tempo tune with a catchy beat. The dual vocals provided by Aljoscha and Helene are one of its particular merits. Drive is indeed a perfect driving song.
Best Before Monday is an uptempo number and is one of my favourites on the album. PDR show that they are not only capable of writing catchy melodies but also really cute lyrics such as “My heart expires on monday and I hope I’ll meet you before” or “You play your drums inside of my head, the harder you beat the weaker I get” (Drums In Your Head). Again, I really love the backing vocal provided by Helene and the chorus bass line.
Speaking of the lyrics they really do stand out throughout the album considering that all band members are native German speakers. The lyrics are cute, clever and occasionally funny.
One Room One Skit is actually a reprise of Best Before Monday and is also a pun on their previous single One Room One Hour. This version is a bit catchier than the original Best Before… and has lead vocals by Helene. Too bad they didn’t make this a full song.
Hold On is another favourite of mine and was previously available as a free download. It’s a danceable synth pop song with a refreshing lightness. This refreshing lightness can be found in all of the songs really and that makes it a perfect mood lifter in the dark and cold season.
PDR are on tour this spring in Germany and the UK (tour dates can be found below). On A Whim is out today in Europe and the UK via Welcome Home Records.
Also published on Medium.