After my week off in San Antonio last week, I’m back at ‘er this week and that includes a return to my basement functional strength and core mat routine all set to some hip vinyl, in my underwear because, hey, why not. It’s cold as fuck outside now that Old Man Winter has decided t wake up and I’ll be running stupid hills later on while HRH swims, so I may as well enjoy the warmth of being inside while I have the opportunity. This afternoon’s listen then is the ‘For Those Who Love‘, by Kingston, Ontario duo, P.S. I Love You.
I remember exactly where I was when I first heard the title track from this album. I was at The Sanctuary here in Ridgeway enjoying a few craft ales and tapas with Kelly when I was like, “What the hell is this? It’s fucking awesome!” And that was my first introduction to the band. I couldn’t find the album though but I did end up purchasing others and, ultimately, became a fan. On Boxing Day, however, I found the entire album on the Paper Bag Records site at a 30% Boxing Day discount – ka-ching!
The album was released in July of 2014; their 3rd full length album and it’s, well, “scrappy”. It’s self-deprecating guitar rock at it’s finest that finds the band seemingly freaking out about their inability to handle life’s peculiar uncertainties. The title track – my far and away favorite – is over six minutes long and about half of it is earmarked for a funk-grunge jam session; it arrives backed by a washed out remix courtesy of chillwave diehards Teen Daze. ‘For Those Who Stay’ was also the first single, so this is clearly not a band who’s going out of their way to expand their reach. P.S. I Love You might not have a legitimate crossover, go-for-broke, all-singles album in them, but if they did, it would probably sound like this. ‘Brain Dead Day‘ and ‘Limestone Radio‘ are equally awesome and could just as easily fall into this same boat; both showcasing unencumbered acoustic balladry and heavy guitar riffs slapped together with a certain New Wave chorus.
And that just Side One!
Side Two is just as engaging with highlights coming from the opening track ‘Afraid of the Light‘, which is a touch-the-face-of-God rock anthem that sounds like Saulnier tried to write a song for the Olympics and the awesome headbobber (not to mention aptly named) that is ‘More of the Same‘.
This is good Canadiana shit.
Compared to the murky, macabre ‘Death Dreams‘, the album practically sparkles, as it was recorded in a “proper” studio and with a lot of what Saulnier calls “fancy gear”. Small indulgences creep in, as there’s often a third guy playing on any given song, contributing ARP string ensemble, piano, field recordings, Hammond B-3, stylophone, and other keyboards they proudly specify in the liner notes. The arrangements are incrementally more complex, though the stylistic range on ‘For Those Who Stay’ is by far the bands expansive move yet – ‘In My Mind At Least‘ sneaks in mid-period Cure jangle before ‘Advice‘ lays back in the pocket with bloozy amble.
Oh, and on a completely shallow and cosmetic level, I simply LOVE the album cover which depicts an old door sitting on the bottom of a sea floor, all flushed with aquatic blues and greens. I recognize that the above photo probably doesn’t do it any justice but it’s awesome – trust me.