PS I Love You – Death Dreams (Preview)

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PS I Love You received phenomenal acclaim for their full length debut “Meet Me at Muster Station” and ever since the music world has been waiting like an excited teenager for the difficult second album.

“Death Dreams” is due to be released on May 8th. But, if you can’t wait that long you’ll be happy to discover that the  noise-pop duo have decided to tantalise us with another peek-a-boo taster of the forthcoming record with the release of videos recorded live during a session at CBC Toronto’s Studio 211. What is clear is that, like Muster Station, the lo-fi energy of their music is still as forthcoming as the vocal is indecipherable and the on-stage introversion is striking. Here is a little looky at four of the new tracks:

“Red Quarter” begins with a quintessential PS guitar lick, heavily over-driven and thick with pop-grunge – it could have been whipped straight out of the nineties. This is one of the catchier tunes as it carries a more discernible vocal melody. The track is ok in the beginning but  really gets going towards the end once Benjamin Nelson demonstrates his ability to wield an axe (that’s guitar in metal speak). It has been said that what Nelson can’t emote in word, he does so through guitar, and this is certainly clear hear.

“Saskatoon” opens with a sweet-sounding riff and continues in a comparatively delicate style. The gentle nature of some of the guitar work gets lost in the deluge of distortion, but that provides an interesting juxtaposition and the drums give the whole composition a solid grounding and structure. Again, there is a great solo towards the end which is really the highlight of the track

“Don’t Go” sees the addition of a foot pedal organ which adds another dimension to the sound. The lyrics tell of a separation; someone being whisked away from Nelson’s clutches as he pleads “don’t go!” The lyrical content ties in well with the emotional drop into a well-constructed chorus. The track peaks in a crescendo of cymbal crashing and guitar riffing before taking an unexpected turn to a subdued section which sounds almost like it’s emanating from underwater. This song is stellar, and is sure to be a fan favourite.

“Princess Towers” is highly distorted and certainly more frantic with a rockier beat and more unhinged vocal – don’t ask about the lyrics as all I could make out was “princess towers” and that’s only because it’s the song title. The chorus has a distinct Ramones feel.  In the verses however PS show a striking resemblance to Cheap Girls; like a brother who, devoid of social skills, hides himself away, caged and misunderstood but impassioned and creative.

And that’s the thing about PS I Love You, their music does feel likes it walks on the fringes of society, an underdog: unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Perhaps this is the reason the band captured fans and critics’ imaginations so forcefully. These four tracks, in particular “Don’t Go” bode very well for fans awaiting the new album and I’m sure the duo’s success will continue to bloom.

Stefanie Jane Williamson

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