Pestilence & Joy is based around a series of studio recordings made in Amsterdam in fall 2008, in the midst of Peeesseye’s European tour of that year. The studio sessions include contributions from Amsterdam-based folk dreamer Seamus Cater on harmonica, and Richy Midnight of Blackpool's own comedy reflux band Condor Moments on keyboards, vocals, and production. Concert recordings from 2006 through the fall of 2008 tour were later interlaced with studio material as a sort of Anthem of the Sun-styled combo meal, though it’s not likely that Billy Kreutzman would recognize it as such. The album collages the two heretofore distinct and separate tendencies in the Peeesseye approach - pieces composed in the controlled environs of the studio and documentation of the totally busted joy of their live shows.
With lyrics plundered from William Blake, Black Flag and the Jason vs. Freddy screenplay, Pestilence & Joy gives us some of the most focused songs yet produced by the group. It sandwiches reams of psychedlicized guitar junk, hainted-and-tainted vocals and catastrophic percussion with harmonium & synth drone slabs, hemorrhaging feedback, and a righteous dose of group handclapping. There's even a taste of road burnt socially awkward on-stage interaction with Swiss music zombies. As per usual for a Peeesseye release, the album artwork is worth noting. The sleeve features two magnificent front covers, one an illustration by the English spiritualist and gay magazine illustrator, Ronaldo Wright, and the other a close up photo of a dripping Baphomet by the American sculpture team Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua. At least one printer passed on this sleeve job due to supposedly “objectionable” content. We have no idea what they are talking about.