Country : United Kingdom Label : Strap Originals Genres and styles : Art Pop / Britpop / Experimental / Experimental Rock / Rock Year : 2024

PREGOBLIN – PREGOBLIN II

· by Stephan Boissonneault

During the spring of 2024, we are experiencing a new era in music—that is the second reincarnation of PREGOBLIN, the creative musical project of Alex Sebley, a weirdo post-punk/everything pop-rock project, coming out on Strap Originals—the label of The Libertines’ Peter Doherty. Doherty even features on the track “These Hands aka Danny Knife.”

So what is it about PREGOBLIN that appealed to the co-frontman of The Libertines? It has to be the musical variety, that shoots out genres like a sonic shotgun between songs, and tragi-comedian lyricism from Sebley. He’s a guy who has been spit out by bands (not to mention The Saudis, the chaotic pre-Fat White Family ensemble) and the music industry, multiple times, so his lyrics come off almost satirical; crafted by a lifetime of exploitation, misfortune, rejection, heartbreak, and of course grief. You can’t forget grief—the true currency of an artist. Due to Sebley’s artistic life—which followed the excessive sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll lifestyle for some time, and then a stint as VICE’s (RIP) go-to international photographer, he sings from experience, the kind that has to lived and earned. So none of his critiques of modern society come off as cheap or pretentious.


Just listen to “Everybody’s I’ll (At The Moment) Pt. 1,” probably about COVID-19, without a sensible chuckle before it jumps into its disco fever dream. It’s lunacy, but the best kind. “Nobody Likes Me” is also fantastic, almost feeling like a disco synth epic ala Jane Birkin w/ Serge Gainsbourg, as Jessica Winter (who used to be a full member of PREGOBLIN) takes lead vocals with Sebley crooning in the background.


This album is the phoenix moment of Alex Sebley, a guy who clearly hates to be pigeonholed with his sound, which is why “Big Hitters” has undeniable pop appeal but the outro on “Roma” is a darkened and droney labyrinth. Then we have a moody country ode with “Alpha Business,” right down to the finger-plucked cowboy chords and lap steel slide—just gorgeous. Sebley could be called a songwriter’s songwriter, but any of the PREGOBLIN II tracks can be enjoyed by part-time music fans just looking for a journey. Usually, that distinction is made pretty quickly with music, but with PREGOBLIN II, there is universal appeal.

But going back to “These Hands aka Danny Knife,” this track is probably the highlight of the whole album. With an easy-to-latch, melodic jumpy rock guitar and backup vocals from Doherty, this track is one you can’t shake from your mind. The lyrics are funny and a bit heartwarming following the story of any would-be rock star or someone taking over their parent’s garage for their first band. It’s eerily nostalgic for anyone who has tried to play music live.


The only song that felt a bit out of place on this whole album was “Make Luv (I Like To Party)” which might be an homage or joke about modern pop music, with a guitar riff that reminds you of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and some autotune that feels a bit forced. But other than that, this album is pure DIY experimental Indie pop-rock fire. As a music journalist, I listen to hundreds of albums over months and it takes a lot for one to truly stick with me, one that I want to revisit. Consider me impressed and a now member of the PREGOBLIN cult.

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