Band: PS I Love You
Album: Death Dreams
Label: Paper Bag Records
Kingston indie rockers PS I Love You have put together a new album with Paper Bag Records, and the one word that can be used to describe it is EPIC. Not lowercase “e” epic, but more like the fully-capitalized expression of mixed awe and terror put forth by half-baked stoners in clammy basements everywhere.
A rather mellow guitar with pedal distortions opens the album, as “Death Dreams”, the song that gives the record its title, is caressed across the hi-hat in such a way that it beckons the listener closer… likely promising candy and other delectable tidbits. This then explodes into “Sentimental Dishes”, which I’m guessing were thrown against the wall during some sort of domestic dispute. “Don’t Go” follows suit (was this a plea not to run away after the dishes broke?), and then… “Toronto” and “Future Don’t Care”. These were followed not long afterward by a second set of death dreams, and apparently the whole mess culminated somewhere in “Saskatoon”.
I had to wonder if this record was a sort of catharsis over a bad breakup. There is a great deal of shrieking involved, and the ride the music takes us on has that rollercoaster feel of an emotional upheaval that’s uncomfortable to witness, and downright painful to be involved in. If this had been experienced in person, I would have made an effort to score the singer some Prozac and keep shoving cookies in his mouth to make him stop caterwauling in such anguish.
Did I like the album? No. Not one bit. I’m not a fan of aural guitar torture, and I think I’d rather have a gyno exam done by Ron Jeremy than subject myself to any of these tracks again. That said, I can’t deny that these guys are fairly talented in their own particular style of acoustic assault. People who appreciate complicated chord work and warbled, mangled lyrics will undoubtedly appreciate the album far more than I did.Throughout the entire maelstrom, I was surprised to see different track titles appear in my iTunes, as every song sounded exactly the same to me, complete with the same manic, wailing style of singing that became popular with bands like The Darkness: there’s a great deal of falsetto and hooting, and if there were any lyrics created, they were waylaid somewhere around the larynx and beaten insensible.
As a duo, these guys have worked incredibly hard to create their music, and there are indeed blossoms of talent that can be distinguished in among the layers on this album. I will, however, utilize the same phrase I used as a child when I was forced to eat some godawful casserole made with canned mushroom soup and over-cooked cauliflower: “I tried it, but if I have any more, I’m going to be sick.”