PS I Love You

For Those Who Stay

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The third long-player from Kingston, Ontario's Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson, For Those Who Stay is a shimmering, cacophonous, and often glorious mess of an album that subverts the traditional no frills/in your face rock approach of the guitar-and-drum duo with a heady shot of spectral, feedback-driven shoegaze and nervy post-hardcore, resulting in something akin to a radio dial stuck between Sunny Day Real Estate and Disintegration-era Cure. That said, for all of its textural ambiance, PS I Love You have crafted an undeniably pop-centric slab of modern noise rock that gives a tip of the hat to manic confectioners of the past like the Pixies, Pavement, Weezer, and Jesus and Mary Chain, and that tour-T-shirt-and-empty-juice-box early- to mid-'90s vibe permeates the majority of the proceedings, even when the pair try to subvert it, as is the case on the taut and compressed, yet undeniably ramshackle "Limestone Radio." On standout cuts like "Advice," "More of the Same," "In My Mind at Last," and the epic title track, Saulnier and Nelson conjure up a captivating web of sound, pairing thunderous percussion and gossamer-like acoustic guitars with gargantuan, heavily distorted electrics, with Saulnier channeling his inner Black Francis/Carey Mercer, pacing like a caged animal/street preacher and waiting to see what the net brings in, but even the more minimalist pieces, like the bucolic "Bad Brain Day" and the cavernous "Afraid of the Light" manage to make an impression, mostly because, like all of the songs on For Those Who Stay, they manage to keep one foot firmly in the light and the other hoof firmly in the dark.

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