by Allison Kridle
If you ask me, Petite League’s Rips One into the Night, is a home run--a hit out of the ball park. Each fuzz-filled, jingled track is a slugger. They’re all the MVP. Alright alright I’ll stop, but you can’t blame me when the New York City based foursome named their indie band to nod at one of America’s favorite past times. However, frontman Lorenzo Gillis Cook didn’t spend his adolescence waking up early Sunday mornings in suburban Michigan to knock orange clay out of his cleats with a metal bat. Originally from Brussels, Cook moved to Syracuse when he was 18 years old for college, took music and media classes, built a bond with the local DIY music scene, and created Petite League alongside drummer Henry Schoonmaker. In 2015 - 2016 the two released the LPs No Hitter and Slugger. Both just as hard hitting and garage rock as their successor.
Baseball references aside, it’s pretty apparent the Syracuse DIY community and American rock culture strongly influenced Cook’s songwriting and instrumental propensities. The album is a string of distorted and twangy tracks, all of which are stimulating and mobile. If you were to imagine what a modern indie garage band sounds like (think LVL UP and Navy Gangs), you may concoct similar guitar riffs and cynical yet buoyant lyrics found in “Sun Dogs” and “Reclusa.”
Next to a clinking melody and a persistent cymbal, Cook sings in his raspy falsetto, “I said wait up, wait up for me/I’ve been drinking all my evenings away/My lungs are just an ashtray for my cigarette decay/I hope I come across you again some day” in opener “Sun Dogs.” While in ‘Reclusa,” he talks about welcoming death and sucking face with the grim reaper against a surfy melody and a restless rhythm.
Perhaps the fraternal twin of “Raspberry Seeds” from No Hitter instrumental wise, the track “Twin Blossoms” takes the road to minimalism sans drums. Cook references his current home, New York City, as he sings, “City in the sky but the devils all live here/ Found love in the gutter/Oh we're all going home.” A fine portrayal if there ever was one.