pg.lost
In Never Out


3.0
good

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
November 11th, 2009 | 42 replies | 14,769 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In Never Out is maddeningly safe, never really pushing the volume past Eight when pg.lost are so, so good at Eleven.

Love or hate pg.lost’s debut record It’s Not Me, It’s You!, it’s impossible to deny this fact: pg.lost were not afraid to go for broke. Every song on It’s Not Me, It’s You! churned towards the grandest climax imaginable that, whether it failed or succeeded musically, was fucking loud. It didn’t matter that almost all of the great tracks were built off simple transitions between IV and V chords or that the band wasn’t really doing anything original at all because when it came together, there was nothing more beautiful. It was exciting, interesting, pretty much everything the genre "pros” have been aiming to do for most of the entire decade. Even though half the record was fairly run-of-the-mill, the whole thing gelled triumphantly on this premise: pg.lost were trying, God damn it.

And on In Never Out, they’re still trying. But something is clearly different. Something about In Never Out is neutered, lacking the punch or, for lack of a better term, magic of pg.lost’s previous album. The formula’s still there- themes evolve into louder themes in the conventional post rock context- but on In Never Out, it’s disconcertingly average. While it’s not like It’s Not Me, It’s You! was particularly original, at least it had gusto, some feel of complete indulgence that allowed the band to crank with complete abandon. Not on In Never Out however; Whereas on It’s Not Me, It’s You!, pg.lost swung for the fences and damned the consequences, the band that gives us In Never Out is a decidedly more patient hitter, willing to take a few pitches and walk if that’s what’s presented to him, and while of course he’s more consistent, let’s face it: he’s much less exciting to watch.

This is the ultimate criticism of In Never Out: its maddeningly safe. The record goes by without much substance, never really pushing the volume past Eight when pg.lost are so, so good at Eleven. Perhaps the band approached In Never Out with a mind for subtlety, but subtle is not pg.lost, and instead of pummeling soaring apexes, we get mild mannered peaks. Constantly, In Never Out hints that something is coming and nothing really ever does. “Prahanien” opens fittingly in the pg.lost mode; the bell tone guitar (strikingly reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky’s “First Breath After Coma,” make of that what you will) promises something massive and a mid-track power chord theme hints that there’s something beautiful and punishing on its way. But as the track dies out, it becomes sadly apparent that that power chord theme was the climax, leaving a disappointingly dry aftertaste.

Unfortunately, this blue-balling is a common thread throughout In Never Out, as pg.lost tease and touch, but never go all the way. By far the worst offender on the album is “Crystalline,” whose entire ten minute run time is assigned to imply bone-crushing fury on the horizon, which it does masterfully, but it never satisfies. Instead the song grows and grows and then stops awkwardly, as if pg.lost were purposely trying to hold back. “Gomez” does the opposite, inverting the formula by giving away all the marbles at the beginning then plods along at the same volume for a way-too-long twelve minutes. Both songs can be described as awkward at best, but the awkwardness feels almost like choice because the desired destination of both tracks is so heavily implied that to avoid them completely listens almost like experimentation. For a band who so adeptly mastered how to spin post rock conventions in exciting new ways on one album, pg.lost either generically use or curiously bastardize them here, and it just doesn’t work in the context of a potential post rock heavyweight trying to contend with the big guys.

Of course, this shouldn’t imply that In Never Out is a terrible record, because it isn’t really. It’s just stale, committing the cardinal sin of blandness. There are moments where pg.lost remember some of the magic they captured on It’s Not Me, It’s You! For example, “Heart of Hearts” is a fantastic mixture of the rock abandon of “Jonathan” with the conventions of “Pascal’s Law,” and the slower tempos of “Still Alright” recall the buildup of “The Day Shift” with the starry lead guitar of “Maquina.” Hell, even the tracks criticized in this review have their moments, but as a whole In Never Out misses just what exactly made It’s Not Me, It’s You! work. pg.lost just seem unwilling to aim for the heights they hit on their last album, preferring the slow, trudging loudness to the sudden outburst of euphoria, and though it works sometimes, the results overall are too ordinary. In Never Out just reaffirms that It’s Not Me! It’s You was truly a special album, and that pg.lost don’t quite realize why.



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user ratings (83)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
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Lots of fizz, disappointingly little pop....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NortherlyNanook
November 11th 2009



1285 Comments


kinda disappointing but still good

Kiran
Emeritus
November 11th 2009



6000 Comments


Yes I Am is such a fantastic song that everything they do pales in comparison

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2009



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

don't know what other people see in this tbh

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2009



17197 Comments


I never got big into pg. lost.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2009



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

JesusDeEspana (7:20:58 PM): your review is okay
JesusDeEspana (7:21:18 PM): i think you are kind of faulting the album for not being it's not me it's you pt 2 really
JesusDeEspana (7:21:32 PM): while it doesnt have those magic moments to equal it
JesusDeEspana (7:21:39 PM): i think it is a very solid ride throughout in its own right
JesusDeEspana (7:21:47 PM): i might still review it as a two sided coin
adam fag downer (7:21:51 PM): fair nuff

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2009



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

EC (7:21:47 PM): fair nuff
EC (7:21:58 PM): i hate to fault the band for not making the same album twice
EC (7:22:20 PM): but in this case it felt like everything else was the same
EC (7:22:27 PM): except the EPIC

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2009



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was going to post that then decided i hated you instead

Poet
November 11th 2009



5920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like this but it's definitely not better than It's Not Me It's You.

and lol@John hating Adam.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2009



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I mean It's Not Me, It's You is by far my favorite post rock album since the freaking Godspeed full lengths, so obviously i enjoy it a lot more than this but this is still really great. giving themselves more time may have resulted in something to match It's Not Me, because i like the vibe on this album a lot

Romulus
November 11th 2009



8411 Comments


Never heard the first but this is great so yeah.

kitsch
November 11th 2009



5107 Comments


i really really liked its not me its you but idk who to trust on this

i will prob check it out

cirq
November 11th 2009



9263 Comments


This band is good

BigTuna
November 11th 2009



5154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. Album is more quiet but still good.

Digging: Common - Nobody's Smiling

alachlahol
November 11th 2009



7471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yea i need to go back to It's Not Me and see why i have it rated lower than this

Yazz_Flute
November 11th 2009



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Didn't know they were releasing new material this year. It's Not Me, It's You! was excellent.

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

thebhoy
Emeritus
November 11th 2009



4459 Comments


you seem to be alone in your sentiments here. I just got It's Not Me, It's You and the Yes I Am EP, both of which I love. I may or may not check this out.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2009



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah what the hell guys lol

elephantREVOLUTION
November 12th 2009



2734 Comments


why is this showing up in the best new music?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2009



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

same problem converge had, the staff reviewer who reviewed it was just plain wrong!

zuzek
November 12th 2009



750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't like the two tracks they previously released on myspace for the same reasons mentioned in this review. Very well written and if I'd have enough time to waste to check this album out, I'd probably find myself in agreement with it.



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