Petite League – Zookeeper

I remember downloading a copy of Spark Alaska’s Longest Winter LP from his bandcamp page a couple of years ago after being won over by the juvenile simplicity and charm of opening track “Little Ears.” Those familiar with said work are in for a surprise as his new band, Petite League, is a world away from the niceties of his former solo-project.

American-born, Belgian-raised Lorenzo Cook was introduced to a world of music that would otherwise have never met his ears by a wide range of international friends and musicians whom he spent most of teenage years with in Brussels. Relocating back to the US in pursuit of his academics aged 18, his new surroundings of Syracuse, NY presented Cook with a vibrant local music scene the likes of which he had never felt before. Joined by Boston-native Henry Schoonmaker to take over in the rhythm section, Petite League was born.

As showcased by new single ‘Zookeeper,’ the new set up gives Cook a platform in which to really let loose, swapping timid whisperings for rambunctious ramblings and delicately plucked acoustic guitar lines for amped-up, frenzied hits of bouncing riffs laid out over Schoonmaker’s crashing and rattling. The lyrics themselves are similarly unhinged: “there’s no gods in the animal kingdom, and no gods for me” Cook sings. ‘Zookeeper’ makes for a scorching, lo-fi shot to the ears packed full of charisma that comes with the same DIY mentality that saw them host their own regular gigs in the basement of their student home affectionately named Scarier Dome.