PS I Love You
Meet Me At The Muster Station


4.0
excellent

Review

by Guy Smiley USER (12 Reviews)
November 23rd, 2010 | 33 replies | 5,260 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: PS I Love You make feel-good heavy indie for the feel-bad weird kids, and it sounds fantastic. (8/10)

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

In a recent interview with music blog The New Music, Paul Saulnier, the husky, wild-bearded frontman/guitarist of Kingston, Ontario duo PS I Love You describes a “muster station” as a “favorite spot” of his, as it’s “the place on any large boat where people are supposed to gather if the boat is sinking to get on lifeboats.” Looking at that, and considering his band’s name is actually the same as a Hilary Swank romantic comedy, it’s easy to dismiss the pair’s (the second man is drummer Benjamin Nelson) debut full-length Meet Me At The Muster Station as another morbidly confessional emo trap before ever giving it a spin. To some extent, the potential naysayers have a point; this is an album that explicitly attempts to soundtrack awkward teenage boys’ attempts at getting out whatever it is they want to say (i.e. trying to talk to women). The band’s name is still PS I Love You, after all.

To dismiss the album for this reason, though, would be a terrible idea, as the pair grabs influences from all across late-80’s to mid-90’s alternative and indie and simply rocks across 10 wonderful tracks. Take the band’s relatively best-known song, “Facelove”, which speeds into a tight groove, with Saulnier’s dreamy chords meshing beautifully with Nelson’s up-tempo beat, all while the big man yelps in his best Black Francis wail: “Your love is like a naïve dream of mine/Thrown in my face.” The catch here, however, is that the confession lasts for all of one minute; like a salute to those graceless loners for whom this album is made, Saulnier tosses out the words and instead launches into an immense solo, fingertapping and crunching his way as the track rushes into its conclusion.

In “Facelove”, and in many other cases throughout Muster Station, language fails Saulnier to a point of literally unspeakable desperation and frustration. Yet Saulnier, as the lead, the axe-wielding scribe of noise that he is, frequently harnesses the power his instrument holds, which is to convey the raw emotion and feeling that simple words cannot do for the majority of us. It truly is an exciting notion to hear, even if it isn’t a particularly new one, but altogether contributes to the just how compelling the album can be at it’s best moments.

“Butterflies and Boners” follows this same suit, opening with a swell of feedback and Nelson’s pounding beat, until Saulnier pierces through the foggy open with a heavy riff that crashes along as he wails about how he’s “gonna throw up.” But the vomit that follows couldn’t be any more kickass, as he launches into another guitar epic that’s more Eddie Van Halen than Joey Santiago, tapping and howling at hyper-speed while the track gloriously rages onward. Saulnier has said in other interviews that he was “a bit of a metal-head” growing up, and it shows; his ability to tear a song to shreds and build it back up again with his monster chords and riffage on Muster Station leads to one of indie-rock’s best lead performances of the year.

While there may be a couple of standout tracks like “Facelove” and “Boners” (awesome), this is an album where all 10 tracks have their moments. Opener “Meet Me At The Muster Station” rides along on a joyous Springsteen style that welcomes hand claps and singing along. “Get Over” moves with a heavy dance-punk swagger, and features another colossal chorus riff reminiscent of a Death from Above 1979 track. “Little Spoon” sees the pair going into Stone Roses mode, and “Breadends” finds heaviness in guitar work and lyrical content, with Saulnier howling “Gimme all the ***ing money” in an act of frustrated catharsis amidst a pounding guitar line.

However, this is definitely an album where some songs are going to click for certain people, while other songs are going to click for others. The myriad obvious influence-ripping cannot be denied; this doesn’t mean Meet Me At The Muster Station doesn’t kick any less ass, it just means it doesn’t do it in the most original way. Thankfully the album whizzes by at around 30 minutes, but it’s entirely possible to see some skipping to certain tracks and bypassing the less memorable ones, even with the short length. Also, while the instrumental work is to be commended here, and Saulnier’s delivery is effective, listeners looking for deeper lyrical content will be disappointed; “Meet me at the muster station” means “Meet me at the muster station”, and the only discernible “word” in “Cbez” is, well, “Cbez.” Still, this is a fun record, one to stand and rock with in all its glory; even if the lyrics aren’t necessarily meant to be taken at anything more than face value, the emotion and manner with which they are presented allows them to have a certain undeniable sway over the listener.

PS I Love You could be considered the 2010 version of 2009’s Japandroids; like that Canadian duo, Saulnier and Nelson will hook in listeners with tight songwriting, excellent guitar work (Saulnier’s virtuoso riffage on this record is exceedingly refreshing in an indie-rock scene increasingly devoid of “guitar gods”) and hooks galore. But also like Post-Nothing, Meet Me At The Muster Station proves to have more substance than a simple drive down the indie influence highway by having just the right amount of emotion and heartfelt earnestness to go along with its heaviness. It’s surprising that Meet Me At The Muster Station is only a debut considering how well-constructed it is, yet that surprise can only lead to a promising future for the young band. Here’s to hoping these two start to return on Google faster than the movie in the next few months; they deserve that much.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jemidu06
November 23rd 2010



115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i wish i knew how to italicize on this site

Schizophrenik
November 23rd 2010



839 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/misc.php?do=bbcode

Romulus
November 23rd 2010



8422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is awesome, nice review as well

Jemidu06
November 23rd 2010



115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you schizo, pretty obvious huh
thank you romulus, just trying to practice the skillz

Awesomesauce
November 23rd 2010



1084 Comments


Awful, awful band name.

Jemidu06
November 23rd 2010



115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed

couldwinarabbit
November 23rd 2010



6996 Comments


but the movie was legitimately good.

Bitchfork
November 24th 2010



7584 Comments


no it wasn't

couldwinarabbit
November 24th 2010



6996 Comments


yes it was.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2010



17920 Comments


it is technically the name of a book but yeah horrible choice for a band name

Josh D.
November 24th 2010



13967 Comments


I had a muster station to report to when I was on a cruise once.

shortz
November 24th 2010



201 Comments


I read somewhere that the band name has nothing to do with the movie. Apparently it's in reference to the frontman (whose initials are P.S.) getting fan mail or something like that, hence "PS I love you"

I saw these guys when they opened for Japandroids, they weren't half bad, I should have picked up a CD though...

Good review

Jemidu06
November 24th 2010



115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i figured more people would recognize the movie so i left the book out, and shortz PS=Paul Saulnier, and he was considered "sappy" by his friends so they gave him the nickname "PS I Love You" (according to an interview) so you're right

kanecooper
January 28th 2011



630 Comments


so good

Romulus
January 28th 2011



8422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

facelove is wonderful

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review! I'm not sure I like it so much though. I'd rather it was noisier and not so indie-oriented. For sure, Get Over is a killer tune.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

Romulus
July 12th 2011



8422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is so delicious

bakkermaarten007
January 23rd 2012



3389 Comments


^
I see what you did there.

On topic: their EP is terrific.

Romulus
January 23rd 2012



8422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wait an ep? where?

dammets
January 23rd 2012



2035 Comments


this seems like something i would like



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