Pegasi 51's new sound shaped by '70s rock

Pegasi 51 is, from left, Kicki Pena, Rusty Yarnell, Greg McGuire and Tevy Pena.

Pegasi 51 is, from left, Kicki Pena, Rusty Yarnell, Greg McGuire and Tevy Pena.

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While many band reunions are ill-fated, Pegasi 51 is going strong in its fourth year together following an eight-year hiatus. In its initial four-year stint, lasting 1997-2001, the act purveyed a sound heavily influenced by Goth and glam sounds of the '80s. After reassembling in 2008, Pegasi has reached further back to the '70s for its inspiration and now constructs up-tempo, high-energy, straightforward rock. The group's 2011 release, "Under a Full Moon," gives an indication of where its collective heads are now, and its follow-up, currently in the works, shows the progression of this infectious new sound.

Citing a more relaxed attitude in its second term, Pegasi 51 displays cohesion in its latest efforts. The band's first venture, by comparison, was tense and volatile given the act's make-it-or-break mentality, but this time around Pegasi has allowed its creative products to come more naturally. Without losing any ambition to take the act as far as possible, Pegasi 51 seeks alternate routes to success through licensing and steady local bookings rather than pursuing demanding, unproductive, cross-country tours.

"I just think we're a lot more comfortable with each other," says drummer Kicki Pena of the band's renewed zeal. "We're really enjoying it more this time around. There's not so much pressure."

"There's not as much pressure to make anything huge out of it," adds vocalist Rusty Yarnell. "We still have ambition to take it as far as we can, but there's no pressure to have to do it. We just want to write some good songs and get people to hear them and see what happens."

Keeping with its low-stress formula, for its second full-length release since reconvening, Pegasi 51 will self-record live tracks in an attempt to capture the energy of its live outings. In addition to portraying the intensity of the band's performances, this method will provide the band more time and control to put together its best product. Rock Snob Records, who recorded the band's last album, will remain involved in the process through a mixing and mastering role.

"I think we can't handle the hurry-up-and-wait stuff in the studios," admits guitarist Greg McGuire. "We record our practices and go back and listen to them, and it sounds great. We ask ourselves why can't we produce that in a studio..."

"What we're working on now is a live album," continues K. Pena. "We're recording it at Greg's house little by little, and then we're going to have it mastered by Eric (Nowinski) at Rock Snob. We did 'Under a Full Moon' with him as well, and this time we're going to try to do it off the cuff, live, to try to give it that feeling."

The live recording will suit Pegasi's new high-octane, low-frills rock style. While asserting that it never sets out with a particular sound in mind, the group acknowledges different influences for its latest material, which is noticeably inspired by '70s punk acts without being derivative.

"They didn't scare us away," says K. Pena of the recent '80s-obsessed chill wave movement. "If we want to play something like that, we will still play it. Sometimes we do play things that may sound like that. It's not a conscious effort to play things with that sound or with a '70s sound. It's relaxed. We play what we want to, feel out the crowd and see what they seem to want."

"It does have more '70s influence these days," adds McGuire. "Years ago it was The Smiths, The Cure, New Order and Joy Division; now it seems like more of us are into New York Dolls, Sex Pistols and The Stooges, and I think it shows in our songs."

Pegasi 51 takes the stage at Preservation Pub Thursday night. Demon Waffle opens the show at 10 p.m. Admission is $3. Pegasi 51 is also scheduled to appear at The Well with The Melungeons on Jan. 4.

Immutable: Mutations play The Pilot Light Saturday night. The show is slated for 10 p.m. and has a $5 cover.

Pyramid scheme: Tuesday night Pyramid Asylum performs at The Well with Jason Lane. The free show starts at 9 p.m.

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Pegasi 51

With: Demon Waffle

When: 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29

Where: Preservation Pub, 28 Market Square

Admission: $3

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