PS I Love You: Playing on Prefix

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Playing on Prefix is a feature on KCRW’s Music Blog in which writers from the eclectic music site Prefix hip you to what’s coming out of their computer speakers each week.

Despite popping up more and more as a vague descriptor, “indie rock” as a genre has been woefully underserved in recent years. The shaggy, loud, sloppy, fuzzy, screaming-from-the-brink music that made Modest Mouse and others into bands argued about in dorm rooms has been replaced with music made by guys on laptops who are engaging in, as James Murphy once said, borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered ‘80s.

Thanks to PS I Love You, Kingston, Ontario’s greatest export since the St. Lawrence River, we can revel in some borrowed nostalgia for the hardly remembered mid-‘90s, via the band’s howling debut, Meet Me at the Muster Station. PS I Love You’s music has often been compared to that of their countrymen Japandroids, and that’s fair, in some respects, because both duos are loud and sexually frustrated and waste no time in presentation. The 10-song Meet Me at the Muster Station is over in just 29 minutes, in fact, but that’s long enough to make a lasting impression. Tracks like “2012,” “Butterflies and Boners” and “Facelove” are loaded with hooks, crunchy guitars, and megaton riffs.

But the Japandroids comparison falls apart in that PS I Love You are closer to emo whereas Japandroids are closer to pop-punk. A Promise Ring/Sunny Day Real Estate current runs beneath singer Paul Saulnier’s lyrics, which are about getting hurt, the end of the world, and making connections.

PS I Love You is one of those rare bands that got a modicum of hype really early on — “2012,” the single, got rave reviews earlier this year — that go on to deliver with the full-length. Meet Me at the Muster Station comes through on all the promise that those early singles spotlighted, and that’s what keeps PS I Love You playing on Prefix.

Meet Me at the Muster Station is out now via Paper Bag Records.

– by Andrew Winistorfer