Released: 28th May
PS I Love You – if I was to mention that in conversation with anyone who didn’t know better, they’d assume immediately I’m on about the book or the film. Well, let’s get this straight. The book is shit; the film is even worse; I’d rather bring up riveting conversation about the internal combustion of a golf ball than to talk about the commercial nonsense that is said literature and film. To be even further pedantic, I’d rather tip my beer away than talk about those hideous troglodytes of modern, mainstream entertainment. And, let me tell you, that’s a strong sign I don’t want to talk about it.
So I won’t. One thing I will talk about, though, is the band with the same name. To be exact, the Canadian two-man band with the same name. Since the release of their debut album, Meet Me At The Muster Station, the band’s popularity has grown considerably – in turn, allowing the band to tour pretty much constantly and as the cycle goes, developing their fan-base all the time. It’s no surprise though, really. Their debut received critical acclaim from more or less everywhere (or from places where it actually mattered, anyway) and a lot of people have been eagerly waiting for the follow-up. Will it live up to the expectation that’s been heaped on? Let’s see…
The opener, and title-track, starts things off with a drawn-out, ambient landscape which utilises the most out of delicate, chattering drums and a softly strutting guitar that saunters through the track like some kind of lusting entity with the change in direction and mellow yet rough tones that burst out. This, then, leads into Sentimental Dishes. A robust guitar which juts in and out, combined with Paul Saulnier’s almost-yelped vocals and well-structured drums which patter and crash throughout the song makes for a feel that the track would be great as a summer song, with the solo further cementing that idea as it completely encapsulates the feel of enjoyment the track was built upon. It’s an impressive solo but it doesn’t really grind away at the other instruments as some solos can; you can still hear the bass polishing the abrasive drumming and the drums just push the bass away, making for a battle between the two. This shows the band’s know-how in what they’re doing and it makes the sound even more impressive.
Princess Towers has a thick, huge-sounding riff which is almost impossible not to nod along to. Coupled with a drumbeat which threatens to take your head off with its constant, hypnotising beat, the track is one of the strongest on the album. It’s imaginable it’s going to be a favourite live, simply because of the crushing sound of it and whoever finds themselves standing still to a track like this either hasn’t cleaned their ears out for months or their hearing aids aren’t working.
The last track, First Contact, is a marauding 5:16 minutes of jangling guitar, frenetic drums and a deep-bellied bass-line. The track is the longest here, but that doesn’t hinder it any way. It moves along effortlessly on the snake of its sound, and slithers and hisses at you as it ekes its way out. The vocals do tend to get swallowed up and drowned out at times by the music here, though, which is a shame.
PS I Love You haven’t quite lived up to the heights of before but this is a solid follow-up that certainly won’t do them any harm. If you’re new to the band, listen to their debut first. Then, slowly allow yourself to get into this one.