There’s a scene near the end of Freak & Geeks when a lost Daniel Desario turns to one of the tag-along nerds, the oddly confident Harris Trinsky, for validation. Despite being wildly unpopular and into D&D and Audio Visual activities, Daniel recognizes the certainty and swagger Harris emits even at such a young age. It’s a very transparent take on the whole, “dorks shall inherit the earth” but it was done with such sincerity, you can’t help but feel for each of the kids (especially the long haired, rat stached nerd).
In terms of indie rock, Kingston’s Paul Saulnier - front man of the Pitchfork approved and Paper Bag records signee, PS I Love You - might just be our country’s Harris Trinsky. From the ashes of Magic Jordan, he’s assembled an insanely tight and gritty two-piece (Benjamin Nelson beats the skins like they stole something after taking over from Paul’s Casio drum machine) that certainly pays tribute to the 90′s, but it’s Saulnier’s showman guitar chops that help create an experimental mesh of pop hooks and distorted, pedal altered fuzz that’s almost impossible to shake from your brain.
Apocalyptic, yelpy anthems are a dime a dozen since Wolf Parade came along and changed the face of indie rock, but PS I Love You refuses to play any type of sounds like game. Even on the booming lead single, “Facelove” the WP energy and vocals that might initially grab you are overshadowed by the insane guitar work that hit closer to home for the metal heads smoking behind the school than the tight pant wearing crowd shuffling through the latest trends. There’s a confidence that dominates these songs about loneliness and unpopularity, one that gives Saulnier the freedom to bust out a minute long face melter that almost sounds like Frampton’s taking guitar on “Breadends”, offer up the insane noodling that ends the horribly named “Butterflies & Boners” or layering a fuzz so thick you can barely swim through it on “Get Over” without ever losing his audience.
The record isn’t out until October 5th, but since I got my copy I’ve had trouble turning it off and I’d wager it’s going to crack countless year end lists. At only 30-minutes, the record is concise and for a debut it’s remarkable that the band never stumbles or lets up. They absolutely blew my ear drums out at Gus’ Pub opening for Apollo Ghosts, but in a bit more controlled environment - like a properly recorded LP - you really get to hear the genius moments of guitar hooks and fuzz. While you countdown the days until the record is available, you might want to head over to Paper Bag and pick up the debut EP or take a listen to “2012.” The hook will slap you in the mouth like a woman from Melrose Place (hi-o! for 90′s references).
MP3:: PS I Love You - 2012