Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Review of PS I Love You’s Death Dreams and giveaway
Vanessa HeinsKingston duo PS I Love You have a pretty well-established aesthetic. Over there, you’ve got Benjamin Nelson manning the kit with an impressively nimble brutality while looking bored to a degree that would impress Charlie Watts, and then there’s Paul Saulnier shredding every neck on his guitar while simultaneously howling and yelping into the mic. It’s a recipe best served loud and live and that’s where I preferred to experience them, where it was easier to focus on Saulnier’s fantastic fretwork than his acquired-taste vocals which I had trouble acquiring. Still, enough people enjoyed the recorded version that their 2010 debut Meet Me At The Muster Station made the 2011 Polaris Prize long list and allowed them to tour the world, seemingly incessantly.
Somewhere in all that time on the road, however, they found the time to write and record a second album and that album – Death Dreams – is out next week. And while the aforementioned aesthetic still technically hasn’t changed, there’s still been a remarkable degree of growth between albums one and two. Saulnier’s delivery is still what it was – I guess I’m mostly used to it by now – but the melodies it carries are more tuneful and memorable. Along the same lines, the guitarwork is denser more textured and puts Saulnier’s ’70s prog rock influences ahead of the the ’90s college rock-ness that defined Muster Station, but the tunes as a whole are more pop than before, with more shiny highs to go with the heavy lows. And Nelson? Still doing what he does, probably without having cracked a single smile since the first record came out. When Muster Station first came out and people were singing its praises, I was skeptical. Yeah, it was alright for what it was, but just how far can they take this? Death Dreams answers that with a resounding, “this far and probably a lot further”.
And also as far as the cover of this month’s Exclaim, which goes nicely with their advance stream of the new album and this additional online featurette. Clash is also hosting the third of their Paper Bag Sessions live videos.
Exclaim loves them some PS I Love You and so can you – the band kicks off their Spring tour at The Garrison in Toronto on May 15 and courtesy of Embrace, I have two pairs of passes to give away for the show – to enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see PS I Love You” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, May 10.
Opening up that PS I Love You show and the whole tour are another excellent twosome, Toronto’s Army Girls. Their new single “T W I C E” which was streaming last week is now available to download, so you should totally do that.
Toronto’s Modern Superstitions are well overdue for their debut album, but they continue to release music in drips and drabs. The Sunbleached EP that was to follow 2010’s debut All The Things We’ve Been Told EP was finished last Summer but hasn’t seen the light of day and now a couple of new songs – presumably from those sessions – will be released as a 7″ on May 29, though it’s available to buy digitally right now. One of the tracks is up to stream and they have a couple live dates ready to go – May 31 at The Garrison May 31 and a NXNE showcase on June 16. Tickets for the Garrison show are $8 and include a copy of the 7″.
NME has two pieces from an interview with Metric’s Emily Haines about their new album Synthetica, due out June 12. The first single from the record was just made available to stream and… I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about what it augurs for the record.
Stream: Metric – “Youth Without Youth”