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Peter Daytona Beach

Overall Album Score: 8.5 out of 10

Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Modern Lovers, Frank Zappa and The Cars. Blend them all together long with a gallon of water and you'll get Peter Dayton!

Indeed those influences I just mentioned are among my favorite rock stars ... so there's no reason why I should even pretend to dislike who Peter Dayton is, since we both, apparently have the same sort of admiration. Furthermore, he's a tremendously talented songwriter, offering plenty (14 songs total) of catchy songs!

The unfortunate thing is the gallon of water! While a gallon of water certainly would have been useful to the characters in the 1982 film Dune, it sure doesn't do us a whole lot of good in the wonderful world of rock-and-roll. ... So, I'm basically saying that Peter Dayton sounds like watered-down versions of those rock stars from the day of yore.

Information I've been getting from e-mails:

I chose to review this album completely at random from Rhapsody (who listed it as a new release), and I originally suggested that this material was recorded in the '00s, but this is not the case. I've been getting plenty of e-mails from people with various information concerning this release including none other than (someone claiming to be) the musician himself.

According to this e-mail from Peter Dayton, this material was actually recorded around 1980-1982 and were demos. He was also a member of the punk rock band called La Peste.

According to another e-mail I got thirty minutes later from a completely different person, "Stuck on the Same Refrain," "Skin Tite," "Love at First Sight," and "Perfect Wave" were from an EP. These songs not only sound somewhat like they were from The Cars, but three members of The Cars actually played on it! ... Well, you learn something new about stuff all the time.

Overall Album Score: 8.5 out of 10 (This guy has a lot of talent! He just needs to find a voice of his own ... and not simply regurgitate Lou Reed, Frank Zappa, The Byrds, Jonathan Richman, *ahem* The Cars ... and whatever other classic rock people he borrowed from.)

Average Song Score: 8.9 (This guy is a solid songwriter drawing influences mostly from musicians from the 60s and 70s that I utterly admire. A good but not great set of tunes.)

Album Tilt: 8.5 (His execution is neither weak nor strong ... but it's perfectly adequate.)

Artist Rating: 8.0 (Not an original idea present in this freaking album! Nor is Dayton's presentation of these old ideas from the 60s and 70s presented in a fresh light. ... but at least this is fun to listen to.)

Track Reviews

Stuck on the Same Refrain 10/10

Right away this song reminds me of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side," except the lyrics aren't so freaky. Even Peter Dayton's voice reminisces a little bit of Lou Reed's! (Although ... he's no Lou Reed ... I don't think anybody has a voice quite like that!) Those Byrdsian 12-string guitars in here are a VERY PRETTY addition and ... that very light synthesizer is also nice, if you even notice that. This is a very delicate and perfect little pop song. NICEEEE! Peter Dayton knows how to do it!

Love at First Sight 8.5/10

Another fine little song ... This sort of has a Cars feel (except he doesn't go all out and give this heavy synth-pop noises). The song sounds kinda cheesy, but at least there's a melody.

Skin Tight 9.5/10

...Okay, now this is a heavy song reminiscent of the Stooges! ... Except this song is obviously faker than the Stooges, but ... hey, at least he's able to draw comparisons! On the bright side, this is easy and enjoyable to listen to, which is difficult sometimes when you're listening to The Stooges.

Tarot Song 9/10

Another song with a Stooges twang to it. The melody isn't as catchy as it was on "Skin Tight," but it is less cheesy than that song! Yay!

Funny Feeling 10/10

...Maybe this song is reminiscent of the Modern Lovers. And this song has an EXCELLENT groove to it, with some vocals that mingle with that perfectly. ... Crap, this guy might not have many original ideas in this album, but she sure freaking knows how to write good songs!

Girl With Blue Eyes 8.5/10

This one seems to be more of the Cars persuasion with a nice, rapidly-paced drum and ... stuff. The melody is pretty good, but it's not extremely catchy. But it is fun! I shall never deny it that!

Secrets of Love 8/10

Another song! ... That's really fun and enjoyable! And ... um ... it's strong but not one of the album's best. ... This sounds like another New Wavish type song. Yay.

Cindy 9/10

Another good song!!! ... This one has a bit of a poppish feel to it with some fun lyrics, some nice, "heavy" instrumentation and ... yeah, this is coo' ... Still utterly derivative, but that really doesn't matter much, because he's a very good songwriter.

Happy to Be Me 8/10

Another nice, happy pop song! What else can you expect from a song titled "Happy to Be Me?" NOTHING! ... It's another wholesome, good pop song.

Perfect Wave 9/10

As the title suggests, this reminisces of those old instrumental surfing songs from the early 60s. Very much fun, this song, and you shouldn't expect anything less! It is well written and fairly well performed.

I Love Your Hair 9.5/10

A nice, simple little pop song with a nice groove, a catchy melody and some good uses of harmonies! Yay! And ... I love that you love my hair. Really, no one's ever said that to me!

Falling In Love With Myself 8/10

A pretty good song, too, that seems to follow in the same footsteps of "I Love Your Hair" ... but it's not quite as great. The melody's not quite as suuuuuper.

Orchids & Gold 8.5/10

Sounds "experimental" ... but it's a few decades too late! It would have had to come out during the days of Frank Zappa! It features Dayton talking into a fan, or something. It's not really a "song" in the traditional sense, of course, so there's no real melody. But it is kinda entertaining to listen to.

Last Supper 9/10

...And Dayton closes his album with another Velvet Underground-ish song. ... Or maybe this is more like Iggy Pop. Eh, I'm through with these comparisons!!! But this is a hardish song featuring silly lyrics, a nice vocal performance and a pretty fun tune. Quite fantabulous!

Ever hear of this album? ... If you have, then you HAVE to send me your thoughts on it here! (Lou Who) received Nov. 29, 2005

Yes, Dayton went very poppy/new wave on this one and the Cars influence is no doubt due to Ric O'carsick who produced these tracks. Live, these songs rocked! I waited 20 years to hear Skin Tight again. Perfect Wave was always fun and Last Supper is a perfect song about loneliness and desperation. Dayton went "pop" when his punk band, La Peste, was ignored by everyone outside Boston. There was not a better punk band in the east in the late 70's than La Peste. Their tape from the 7/4/79 Rumble at the Rat with the Neighborhoods has been treasured by every punk I ever knew and both bands played the best 70's punk that night. (Got to be up there with the Ramones in London exactly 3 years yearlier)"Don't Wanna Die In My Sleep Tonight" is still great and 20 year old kids are still covering "Better Off Dead". 25 years later I still play Peter Dayton more than I ever played the Cars, Lou Reed or Jonathan Richmond. Iggy?...well I'm sure Peter understands. As far as the cut ! about being 50 something (he's just 50)... We old punks earned the slack to do whatever the fuck we want (which was the whole point anyway). I only see posers and wanna bees now. Music is too much off a business now to let out-of-control, pissed off, alienated, angry fuck ups anywhere near a recording studio or a microphone and that's where all the really fun stuff came from. Wait til we get to the nursing homes! Gabba Gabba (quoahog) received Feb. 11, 2006

If you liked "Stuck on the same Refrain" from his CD, you should check out the version on the LP from the 1980's. The version on the CD is much more vapid than the earlier version. I always liked this artist, and I was confused that I was not all that enthralled when I listened to the CD, so I pulled out my plastic LP, and lo and behold, my tastes have not changed, it is just that this version is MUCH weaker than the original release. (Peter Dayton) received March 2, 2006

Don.that disc is just demos from need to review the real music i made before skinny ties and keyboards ruined everything...check out La peste on Dionysus Records from LA- it was just released(1977-78)'ll notice there's no water- just a little spit...enjoy...let me know what you think about La peste..... (Mike Keough) received March 2, 2006

Hi, I was just transfering Peter Dayton's 4-song EP from 1981 from vinyl to digital and did a google to see if there was any info on him out there. I remember hearing 2 of these songs on the radio quite a bit 25 years ago. Anyways, your comments about his influences struck me funny. 4 of the songs on the CD you reviewed are from this 25-26 year old EP [Skintite, Stuck On The Same Refrain, Love At First Sight, Pefect Wave] and this EP was recorded with 3 members of the Cars [Ocasek, Easton, Hawkes] and Ric Ocasek produced the recordings. They were recorded in Massachusetts circa-1980 while he was a post grad at Tufts. So, you see, consider the actual age of the recordings and it's a little different [if you're old enough to recall those days]. Other than that, I know nothing about Peter Dayton and really don't care. Thanks. (Bob Boyd) received June 19, 2007

As an old friend of Peter it was a joy to see a review of the Smash Easy Peter Dayton compilation CD. Brings back a lot of great memories of a very popular Boston band from the 1980s. As an aside, from the very same time period that these songs were recorded a video company that I owned recorded a professional 2 camera shoot of the band playing at The Casbah in Manchester, NH. The set list is pretty much the same as the CD, with another half dozen tracks. Still looks great after all these years!

All reviews are copyrighted by the author, Michael Lawrence. Chicken soul is for the soup.