Death Dreams

Album Review of Death Dreams by PS I Love You.

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Death Dreams

PS I Love You

Death Dreams by PS I Love You

Release Date: May 8, 2012
Record label: Paper Bag Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

75 Music Critic Score
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Death Dreams - Very Good, Based on 11 Critics

PopMatters - 90
Based on rating 9/10
90

The small city of Kingston, Canada – located in eastern Ontario about where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River – is a town of contradictions. It is home to one of Canada’s most respected academic institutions (Queen’s University), but it is also home to what is arguably Canada’s most notorious maximum security correctional facility (Kingston Penitentiary, which the federal government is now shutting down).

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No Ripcord - 90
Based on rating 9/10
90

Irrespective of the final outcome, the purported viewpoint of having the “will to dream” has long been the ultimate test of endurance. Of every feeling, it’s the most deceptive – the aim of giving purpose to one’s own existence, regardless of what that dream is, has been the product of so many life experiences: fruitful to the bright thinker with aspirations of commerce, corrosive to the tormented thinker who sees it unravel too clearly, and beneficial to the helpless thinker who’s been sold with false hope. Right at the beginning of 2012, off PS I Love You’s debut full length Meet Me At Muster Station, Paul Saulnier questions the finality of his very own: will we ever live to see our dreams.

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NOW Magazine - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

The first thing that stands out about PS I Love You's sophomore album is how big it sounds. Like their acclaimed debut, Death Dreams was mostly recorded in their Kingston practice studio, yet there's constant movement between the sense of a punishingly loud, claustrophobic space and the feeling of driving down an empty highway with the windows open and the stereo cranked. The arrangements are also less tightly wound, although they certainly haven't reached prog rock territory.

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Prefix Magazine - 80
Based on rating 8.0/10
80

If there’s a single sentence that sums up the Modus Operandi of PS I Love You, Paul Saulnier, lead singer/guitarist/bassist for the band, already said it in the recent issue of Spin. “I’m just trying to play with passion,” the perpetually bearded Saulnier told Spin, in a piece about the decline, and recent resurgence, of guitar solos. Passion comes bursting out of the Kingston, Ontario, duo effortlessly, and whether people think that guitar solos are “corny” is irrelevant.

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Paste Magazine - 79
Based on rating 7.9/10
79

“I wish this summer was my last summer,” warbles PS I Love You frontman Paul Saulnier on the glorious fuzzbath that is “Future Dontcare,” his cracking, Tom Verlaine-esque chirp engulfed in radiant, distorted waves of electric guitar, firing sparks off Benjamin Nelson’s ricocheting snare rolls. “I wish this weekend was my last weekend.” Death Dreams, the Canadian indie-rock duo’s second album, is—fittingly—consumed by darkness. Their noisy, gleeful, lo-fi debut, 2010’s Meet Me at the Muster Station, was a sleeper smash in their home country, shortlisted for a Polaris Prize and cemented by rave reviews from the Pitchfork crowd.

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Beats Per Minute (formerly One Thirty BPM) - 75
Based on rating 75%%
75

PS I Love YouDeath Dreams[Paper Bag; 2012]By Brendan Frank; May 3, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetIn their native Kingston, Ontario, PS I Love You keeps a reasonably low profile. Despite their homegrown allure, they are confined to playing shows in pubs at Queen’s University, and are underappreciated by their target demographic. The larger venues are saturated with DJs from abroad, almost all of whom pander to the student body by playing music to drink, drop and smoke to.

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New Musical Express (NME) - 70
Based on rating 3.5/5
70

Named after The Beatles’ first ever B-side, PSI♥U fit in the now firmly established line of loud’n’powerful drummer’n’singer/guitarist combos. Here, aside from an introductory impersonation of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’ (on the title track), they continue where their 2010 debut left off: ie sounding quite a lot like Tom Verlaine fronting Dinosaur Jr (or on ‘Princess Towers’, having-a-tune-era Sonic Youth). When they really wail – see the last minute of ‘Sentimental Dishes’ – it’s exciting.

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Pitchfork - 64
Based on rating 6.4/10
64

I can say with a degree of certainty that I've heard a riff similar to the one in PS I Love You's "Sentimental Dishes" at least a thousand times in my life. And yet, a gritted combination of power chords and a major-key melody swaddled in guitar fuzz never fails to trigger the same bundle of associations: This is Underdog Music, conceived in a ramshackle garage in a city with no other social options, recorded on the cheap, and above all else, fun, a celebration of spirit trumping skill. The first of those two are likely the case for PS I Love You, who hail from the college town of Kingston, Ontario, and who don't sound like they've followed up 2010's Meet Me at the Muster Station with a much larger budget.

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Pitchfork - 64
Based on rating 6.4/10
64

I can say with a degree of certainty that I've heard a riff similar to the one in PS I Love You's "Sentimental Dishes" at least a thousand times in my life. And yet, a gritted combination of power chords and a major-key melody swaddled in guitar fuzz never fails to trigger the same bundle of associations: This is Underdog Music, conceived in a ramshackle garage in a city with no other social options, recorded on the cheap, and above all else, fun, a celebration of spirit trumping skill. The first of those two are likely the case for PS I Love You, who hail from the college town of Kingston, Ontario, and who don't sound like they've followed up 2010's Meet Me at the Muster Station with a much larger budget.

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Consequence of Sound - 58
Based on rating C+
58

If you follow @psiloveyouband for any length of time on Twitter, you’ll quickly realize that PS I Love You singer/guitarist (as well as chief tweeter) Paul Saulnier is a pretty big fan of The Simpsons, and he isn’t above throwing out the odd quote. He’ll probably appreciate this oldie then, from the episode where Homer designs his own car, bankrupting his long-lost half-brother in the process. Before the Danny DeVito-voiced Herb Powell has the chance to call it a “monstrosity,” Homer describes his car in its introductory commercial as “powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a Nerf ball.

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Exclaim
Their review was positive

Kingston, ON duo PS I Love You blazed a bright and noisy path on their debut, Meet Me at the Muster Station, inventing a type of punk rock prog in the process. Yet singer/guitarist Paul Saulnier has managed to out-noodle himself, delivering more guitar licks per second on Death Dreams. But it's stronger songwriting, with hooks that sink in deep upon first listen, that give Saulnier this freedom, while drummer Benjamin Nelson keeps the pair in a locked groove.

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