Review: Space Guitars by Pet Yeti

Album cover for Pet Yeti's Space Guitars

Pet Yeti release their debut album Space Guitars on September 13th.

Previously known as the Propane Brothers, the band have changed their name in anticipation of the release, but their commitment to producing tightly arranged, high-quality bluegrass remains the same.

Pet Yeti

Featuring members of Cup O’Joe, Cardboard Fox and Hot Rock Pilgrims, Pet Yeti brings together some of the best young talent on the UK bluegrass scene – Benjamin Agnew on bass, Reuben Agnew on guitar, John Breese on banjo, Kieran Towers on fiddle and Joe Tozer on mandolin. The majority of vocals come from the Agnew brothers, who create the kind of effortless, spine-tingling harmonies you’d expect from bluegrass siblings.

Space Guitars features eight originals, with all band members contributing to songwriting duties. Things don’t stray too far from the traditional, with energetic banjo kickoffs, fiery fiddle solos and lyrical themes of heartbreak, drinking and long journeys home. However, it’s clear the main influence is the more poppy, indie-orientated sound that’s developed in recent years – think Nickel Creek, Deadly Gentlemen and Joy Kills Sorrow. This is perfectly encapsulated in the title track, a fun ditty that closes the album with multiple Back To The Future references.

Album cover for Pet Yeti's Space Guitars
Space Guitars Cover Art

Three covers complete the track listing. Bluegrass/old-time standards Hello City Limits and I’ve Endured won’t raise too many eyebrows, but album opener Said I Loved You…But I Lied, a cover of Michael Bolton’s 1993 hit, might just unsettle a few purists (or even bring on a few pangs of nostalgia if you’re that way inclined).

Overall, this is a well-balanced album that offers a good dose of old-fashioned, hard-driving bluegrass combined with more modern influences. Exceptional cover art from Jacob Matthess rounds off the package nicely.

Space Guitars will be available 13th September 2019, and Pet Yeti will be playing a number of gigs to support the release. Visit the band’s website for all the details.