The Scarier Dome, a collective made up of Syracuse University students who dedicated their time to cultivating the arts, was a makeshift restaurant, touring house, and the place where Lorenzo Gillis Cook (vocals, guitar, bass) and Henry Schoonmaker (drums) started Petite League, now releasing their sixth album Thrill Seekers on October 21, 2022, under Zap World Records. In 2016, they moved to Queens, adding former Scarier Dome members Adam Greenberg (guitar) and Kevin McCallum (bass), and quickly distinguished themselves as key stars in New York City’s indie-rock scene. Petite League is known for their alternative vibe and surf-rock guitar chords that remind listeners of New York legends like The Strokes and Sonic Youth, but the band is still able to elevate what’s already been done with their catchy melodies and coming-of-age lyrics.
Thrill Seekers opens with “Bloody Knuckles”, a track distinctly Petite League and unquestionably indie-alternative. With a heavy guitar set and Cook’s classic muffled-over voice, it’s a preview of the rest of the album’s energy and sound. Following it is “Dagger Eyes”, a little less guitar-focused and more centered on the steady drum beat. In the third track, “Hurricane Shimmy”, the years of work the band has put in, especially when it comes to Cook’s songwriting, really shines the overarching directive of living your life daringly. “I’d dance through a violent hurricane/ Just to keep you dry/ We move our feet till the sunrise in the East/ If we make it out alive.”
The fifth song, “Pantone Karaoke”, has slower guitar strums with a resounding message of the fast passage of time and the fear of wasting it. “I put my two weeks in/ Four years wasting my time/ Or did you just waste mine?/ Alright bring the drums in.” It follows beautifully into “Nite Stairs”, another song equipped with the theme of being too swept up in love that you don’t realize you’re losing it. With lyrics like, “We don’t talk anymore/ Gonna take the long way home, comfortably alone/ Do you think of me like I think of you?/ Do you think of me when I think of you?” it’s evident the band’s growth over the years. Petite League has still maintained their electric riffs and dynamic drum beat, but now uplifts each of their pieces with relatable, rousing words.
“Dyslexic Poetry”, the eleventh song on the 13-track collection, touches on what it’s like to be young and always wrong, Cook singing, “Misread queues in the dark/ Nowhere to go and nowhere to start/ I’m like an overly confident romancer/ Too sure of a definite wrong answer.” In “Patience”, the next song, the band is joined by femme queer punk band Sorry Mom. The crossover between the two powerhouse new wave-rs creates a stirring composition of something almost soft, but still rockable.
Thrill Seekers closes with “Disarray”, a song covering what it means to embrace life’s chaos. It starts out with the band’s iconic solid beat, before speeding up to an impactful ending of complete alternative-ness. Songs like “Mets”, “New York 2002”, and “Floating Blue” reference the great city that Petite League resides in, showcasing their devotion to New York City, and almost thanking the place for all it’s given them.
Petite League has been making music since 2015, and as they’ve developed each year they’ve been able to take familiar sounds and create something totally individual, making sure that everyone can still jam out to each song, but finding a way to constantly remind people that the best way to enjoy life is by looking for the thrills.