PS I Love You - Death Dreams
By: Rob Gannon
Sometimes all the elements key to success are in place and yet sometimes they just don’t click and it’s not easy to pinpoint why. The PS I Love You fuzz-rock debut Meet Me At The Muster Station was elsewhere lavishly praised, but it struck this reviewer as nothing more than engagingly solid – a good six-out-of-ten if you will.
Its follow-up, Death Dreams, is pretty much the same record, budget production and all, except that for the first time it contains a true standout in the grammatically ignorant indie-noise romp “Future Dontcare” – a blissful and poignant blend that owes as much to Pavement as it does The Pixies, Paul Saulnier‘s strangled vocal sitting as comfortably over Benjamin Nelson‘s quick-fire snares as it’s ever likely to do.
Found on a very decent A-side that also contains two instrumentals rife with dark cymbal splashes, fizzy passages of white noise and oppressive indie drone, not to mention two further above-average cuts that flirt with indie jangles and amplified noise (“Don’t Go”), as well as catchy power-punk and classic rock solos (“Sentimental Dishes”), the Kingston, Ontario duo seemed to have finally nailed it, breaking through into the conscious with explosive style.
Unfortunately a rather limp B-side however plunges the pair back towards mediocrity. “First Contact” does close the LP on a relative high, crushing it with some intricate finger-work that latterly introduces root traces of the Blues and/or country, yet the remainder of the flip is really only notable for the totally indulgent totally awesome wah-wah solo in “Red Quarter”.
While the other Canadian fuzz-punk duo Japandroids fill out their smart LPs with tasteful covers and gluttonous milking of crowd-pleasing moments, Saulnier and Nelson unwisely seem to opt for meandering melody and safe structure instead, which is a pity for when their stars do occasionally align the fireworks generated are joyous.
Advised downloads: “Future Dontcare” and “Don’t Go”.
Death Dreams is out now on Paper Bag.