Wednesday, March 16, 2011


(Cooking Vinyl)

Regardless that this is the band’s sixth album, most people will arrive at a PB&J album with expectations of stylish, featherweight pop. When Young Folks hit it felt like such effortless sliver of genius that you’d expect its composers and producers to be able to turn out a dozen more like it, which made its accompanying album Writer’s Block such a relative disappointment. With Gimme Some there’s no Young Folks but further, no attempts to write anything light and catchy or even produce the album themselves, which is remarkable given the experience they’ve had behind the desk. This move is perfectly exemplified by Breaker, Breaker, which takes a blistering 99 seconds of supercharged guitar-driven pop with a suitably thrilling filmclip and leaves no prisoners.

The band doesn’t seem in a particularly good mood throughout Gimme Some. There’s no joy in their delivery, from the opening repeated lines of ‘I don’t think you are sorry for what you did / I know you need it and you just don’t know how to quit’ through to the closing ‘I know you don’t love me and I know the reason why.’ While heartbreak has been the impetus for some of the greatest indie pop songs of all time (say, The Field Mice’s If You Need Someone or The Concretes’ New Friend), here the writers seem too scared to fully explore them, content with initial feelings of bitterness and anger, keeping the songs short for fear of giving too much away.

Peter Morén’s Lennonesque piercing vocal and slap-back echo haunts the album, an evocation that does the band no favours. Instead, when they stretch out and show a hint of vulnerability as on the closing IKYDLM, they get interesting and the production of Per Sunding (of Swedish indie pop gods Eggstone) gets something to explore. Worth a listen, but probably not many.

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