Monday, July 21, 2014

PS I Love You: "For Those Who Stay" (album review)

Kingston, ON's PS I Love You have been churning out raw, loud records for a few years now.  They recently came back with a sharp right-hand turn on their new album For Those Who Stay.  The album is the most dynamic and varied of their career, which also makes it their most listenable thus far.

The most striking moment on the album comes right off the top as "In My Mind At Least" reins in the frenzy, the restraint actually adds to the power of that song's controlled ruckus.

The hook-laden "Limestone Radio" melds a catchy melody with an awe-inspiring rock groove.  That is revisited on the rousing kick-in-the-ass "Hoarders", which wraps it all up in a B-movie shroud.

The pair keep you on your toes with a constantly shifting set of influences.  The six and a half minute title track swings from hard rock to a near hybrid of disco-rock.  That's followed by "Afraid of Light", a sprawling opus that's a kind of hard rock Arcade Fire.  The vocals on "Advice" have more than a sprinkling of Sebadoh in their sound.

There are a couple of arrows that miss the mark.  The quiet "Bad Brain Day", features a plucked guitar and maracas(!), but fails to connect.  On the other end of the spectrum is the more typical "More of the Same", which is a noisy mess.  Despite not being great songs, the group does deserve credit for attempting such a wide range of styles.

Without a doubt, For Those Who Stay is the strongest album to date from PS I Love You.

PS I Love You play the Drake in Toronto on August 19th.

Best tracks: "Limestone Radio", "Hoarders"

Track listing for For Those Who Stay:

  • In My Mind At Least
  • Advice
  • Bad Brain Day
  • Limestone Radio
  • For Those Who Stay
  • Afraid of Light
  • Friends Forever
  • More of the Same
  • Hoarders

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