October 7, 2010

Test Spins: PS I Love You

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Pitchfork may classify Candian duo PS I Love You as “noise pop,” but the band’s debut album Meet Me at the Muster Station can hardly be described as noise. While many bands of similar genres may be described as ambient, something to play while you’re finishing that paper at 3 a.m., PS I Love You instead expresses a will-be-heard mentality, with vocalist Paul Saulnier screaming sometimes indecipherable lyrics over the beats of Benjamin Nelson’s drumming, layered over catchy guitar loops and synthesizer.

The album’s overall feel is inexpressible frustration. Saulnier’s voice is suited to this task, similar to the wail of Dan Boeckner sung with the desperation of Spencer Krug, accompanied by the occasional Yeasayer-esque yelp. Lyrically, many of the songs adopt an almost anthemic aura, particularly “Cbez” in which Saulnier repeats “She did, she did, she did,” backed by forceful guitars and drumming. Playing only about 30 minutes in length, at times Muster Station feels like the band is racing to keep up with themselves, but the record maintains a sense of completeness by sandwiching the story between the two parts of the title track.

The instrumentals behind the vocals add the needed fierce edge that keeps PS I Love You’s rage alive. “Butterflies and Boners” features a guitar riff with a bit more finesse, but other tracks such as “2012” and “Get Over” kick off with an intensity that commands the listener to attention. The standout on the album, however, is “Facelove,” in which Saulnier laments loving a girl who threw his affections back in his face, following a single verse with an excellent instrumental outtro. Here, the angst from the previous tracks turns into a kind of forlorn indignation, allowing the listener to drift for a moment before returning to frustration.

All in all, it is worth lending an ear to PS I Love You’s tales of struggles in love. Meet Me at the Muster Station is assuredly a strong start for this duo; the post-script to this album will be eagerly awaited.


Original Author: Sydney Campbell