In Never Out - thesilentballet (USA) 8 of 10
People say the darndest things when talking about music. The topic was this year´s best albums. Trying to impress a girl, a fool, in the most generalist manner, blurted out: “When a band matures, they lose their creativity.” To offer a counter argument to this madness, I only needed one word to extinguish his pallid, flawed flame. "Tortoise." At this, he fell to his knees, crying, begging me to kick him back to sanity.
With Tortoise, "maturity" is the keynote quality that has aided their longevity. Pg.lost started very brightly with Yes I Am, an emotion-packed EP that alerted post-rock lovers everywhere to a new Swedish giant in the making. Then they released their first proper album, It´s Not Me, It´s You, and, as if to piss all over the fans´ expectations (myself included), it was just another post-rock album. Sure it had some amazing tracks on it, but as a whole, it wasn´t a coherent piece of work. "They fail to set pulses racing like we know pg.lost can,” was stated in this review. Almost one year has passed, and with In Never Out, it all makes sense. They needed to make It´s Not Me, It´s You in the same way that The Samuel Jackson Five needed to make Same Same, But Different. It is simply part of the learning process.
In Never Out as a whole oozes beauty. What we have now is a band that has perfect knowledge of their capabilities and is comfortable playing in their own skin. From the minimalist start of opener “Prahanien” to the dying last seconds of the album, pg.lost craft sweeping, melancholic soundscapes that attract, surround, and finally haunt the listener hours after the album is finished. They sound more restrained, with no over-playing or useless repetitions on display. Everything is done to serve the purpose of each track individually and the album as a whole.
Every once in a while tracks like “Crystalline” and “Heart of Hearts” throw some curve balls to hold the listener´s interest. “Crystalline” gives the illusion of being played in sixes while actually being played in eights, thanks to the drummer´s clever rim strikes. “Heart of Hearts” seems like it´s going to go in the same quiet-loud direction half way through but then surprises by going in an entirely different direction. This just comes to show their belief in their abilities right now, as well as upgraded song writing skills. The drumming in particular has improved vastly; Martin Hjertstedt carries several crescendos on his own while the guitars take the back seat.
The most notable difference between this and the previous album can be conveyed by comparing tracks “Gomez” and “Jonathan.” I have always believed that it could be very dangerous to give a track a human name, since that heightens expectations. The band is expected to tell a story that gives the audience a glimpse into someone´s life - his feelings, his thoughts, and his actions - all in a few minutes. To make things more difficult, they do it without uttering a single word, for their instruments articulate everything. “Jonathan” wasn´t a bad track, but it lacked that storytelling quality. It could have been about any old Jonathan. "Gomez", on the other hand, has a story. We can sense the man´s sadness, his longing for something he no longer has. Perhaps an expatriate wanting to go home to his family and friends, he is unable to embrace his new surroundings and is exiled from what he cares about the most. To strengthen this narrative, pg.lost place a Spanish radio sample at the end, and the hairs on the back of the listener´s neck stand in applause.
The only thing that can´t be said about In Never Out is that it´s groundbreaking; it is more a progress from the band’s original sound. This album is where pg.lost get it right and confirm their fans´ belief in their capabilities. By all means, this is a must listen for 2009
- Mohammed Ashraf
In Never Out - Criticalmass (Sverige) 8 of 10
En mistlurs ensamma kall inleder "In Never Out", en skiva som får känslovågorna att röra sig mellan översvallande passion och iskall kyla. Mistlurens varning är tydlig: tjock dimma och förförisk skönhet för ut.
För Norrköpingskvartetten PG.LOST går med sin andra platta på djupet, och det känns. Det här är postrock när den är som bäst, episkt vacker och eftertänksamt tung. Och den lyckas vara detta utan att bli vare sig enformig eller tråkig.
I femtio minuter bevittnar vi en kamp mellan avgrundsdjup bas och änglalik melodi och som åskådare påminns vi om och om igen utan förvarning om stundens allvar samtidigt som vi dras in i ett förtrollande vackert samspel.
De sex spåren som spelades in i somras når sitt sista crescendo i samt avslutas med magnifika ”Gomez”, men egentligen går det inte att skilja sång från sång, övergångarna är så fina att det hela smälter samman till en enda hänförande hypnos.
"In Never Out" är en fantastisk skiva och jag ser med stor förväntan fram emot att en dag få bjudas på denna vackert vemodig resa live.
- Isabella Qvist
It´s not me, it´s you! - Sputnik music (USA) 4.5 of 5
What pg.lost have crafted with their new record, It´s Not Me, It´s You!”, is a post-rock album that should attract the attention of all the Explosions in the Sky whoring, A Silver Mt Zion loving, Yndi Halda worshipping post-rock kids ad get them to divert their attention away from Sigur Ros´ latest “breathtaking” record of the year candidate. While the transition from their first EP to their first full length has seen pg.lost grow a little more in line with traditional post-rock bands, they still like to defy what you expect them to do, and then do so in an absolutely deft manner.
The record begins innocuously with “The Day Shift”, which begins and ebbs like a normal post rock song would, the intro building towards its eventual “climax”, featuring one of the key pegs in the pg.lost cog: the distortion in a pg.lost song is done so wonderfully, you´ll begin to wonder if it really counts as distortion or if the music is just so beautiful you can´t hear it straight. As it begins to wind down, and you hear what would expectedly be the last few guitar notes being plucked, the song explodes into something AT LEAST five times louder and more epic than it was before. The dual guitars interweaving as the drums crash around, while the song ends in a heavily distorted solo.
Its hard to describe something so ***ing brilliant, people.
The middle of the album proceeds more tamely, with “Head High” being the only slightly weak point of the album, a generic, but still solid, track accompanied by cliché after cliché. Luckily Every song following lives up to the quality height of “The Day Shift”. While “Pascal´s Law” showcases that they can write a traditional post-rock songs and add various flairs to it (the 5 minutes of high tempo snare hits are delicious), as they abuse their echo pedals in its climax. “Maquina” continues on a similar path, except focuses more on its final crescendo than any sort of neat trickery.
What makes pg.lost different/so enthralling is that they couldn´t care less about making any part of their music “pretty”. Even in moments that should be glossy and stylized, such as the beginning of “Jonathan” where the extremely “dirty” (aka “we can mess with the levels on this part of the mix a lot!”) guitar riff makes the otherwise lush guitar work grounded, and at the same time making a fantastic juxtaposition between the ugliness of pg.lost´s work with the inherent beauty. The final song “Siren” is arguably the best song recorded this year, especially when taken in context of the album.
The most minimalist song in composition, “Siren” begins with little else other than a repeating guitar line and light synths. It goes on like this for nearly five minutes, every few moments taking the time to draw you back in with a individual guitar lick or shift in the song itself, until the drums kick in and the only true vocals on the album are heard. The song steadily builds throughout its duration, picking up steam and additional instruments until it finally erupts in a cacophony of guitars, drum crashes, and a piercing yell in the background. It is the perfect ending to the record, a release of energy that seems to have more in common with the likes of Envy than, lets say, Eluvium.
It´s Not Me, It´s You! is not for everyone, and it isn´t even for every post-rock fan. It´s a long, trying album seemingly designed to test your patience in short bursts, implanting you with the knowledge that yes, in time everything will make sense in any given song. Even when pg.lost turn into a “standard” post-rock band, they do it well and above most of their peers, and when pg.lost are ´pg.lost´, they can challenge anyone else in the game when it comes to sheer talent and virtuosity. While the album may ride a little too heavily on the guitarists for many peoples tastes, it´s the best post-rock album I´ve heard since Yndi Halda´s Enjoy Eternal Bliss, and I surely hope pg.lost can build upon this and craft an album great enough to land them in direct comparisons with the Sigur Ros´ and GY!BE´s of the world.
- John A. Hanson
Yes, I am - Thesilentballet (USA) 8 of 10
While some well established instrumental rock acts appear to be content to tread water lately, it is rather refreshing to discover some unknown bands creating high quality music. Unsigned Swedish act, pg.lost, is one of them. Ever since I spent some time with the band´s 2005 demo, I have been eager to hear more from this relatively unknown quartet. On its debut EP, Yes I Am, pg.lost has shown the proper growth from its first outing and has produced some of the finest instrumental tunes released so far this year.
Not only is this one of the strongest post-rock releases I have experienced in a while, but opening track, “Yes I Am,” is one of the most beautiful melodic rock tunes to grace my ears in quite some time. After a dark, Mono-esque opening, the track jolts to life with some distorted guitar and drum hits, before fading into a mellow, delay-drenched melody with some impressive guitar-bass-drum interplay, which is not common in many up-and-comers. After bringing back the guitar distortion, the track goes limp. And maybe that´s all we get, a one-trick pony. Not so fast, says pg.lost, who brings back the magic with a majestic, distortion fueled ending that rounds out what is just shy a perfect track.
It would be damned near impossible to keep the rest of the CD as strong as the opening cut, but pg.lost do a pretty good job of maintaining the listener´s attention. “Kardusen” and “Fartyget” start with some melodic bass arpeggios similar to Come On Die Young-era Mogwai, with the louder passages summoning a deeper, more interesting Red Sparowes vibe. The final tracks on the record show a mellower side to the group´s sound, incorporating some keyboard melodies and a GY!BE flavored sample. Most of the songs check out at around the 6:30 mark, making the songs just epic enough without getting boring or too repetitive.
It´s definitely encouraging to experience a new band with a strong sense of songwriting and talent that pg.lost have exhibited on Yes I Am.
The group should undoubtedly be mentioned with other young acts like This Will Destroy You and Caspian as heirs to the EitS/Mono throne in the instrumental rock kingdom. Let´s hope a label snatches these Swedes up soon and forces a full length out of them. My top 5 of the year list is waiting...
19.04 DE -- Aachen -- Musikbunker w/Samiam
20.04 DE -- Mönchengladbach - Westend | Useless Fest
21.04 DE -- Berlin -- Bi Nuu +Samiam
24.04 DE -- Düsseldorf -- Tube
25.04 DE -- Ibbenbüren -- Scheune
30.04 DE -- Göttingen -- T-Keller +Nothington, Apologies I Have None
01.05 DE -- Leipzig -- Werk 2 w/ Polar Bear Club
02.05 DE -- Münster -- Skaters Palace Uncle M Fest
03.05 DE -- Dortmund -- FZW + Polar Bear Club
08.05 DE -- Köln -- MTC w / Attack Attack!
18.05 DE -- Wermelskirchen -- AJZ Bahndamm
25.05 DE -- Bielefeld -- AJZ + Captain Planet
29.05 DE -- Münster -- Baracke
30.05 DE -- Osnabrück -- Bastard Club
31.05 DE -- Rendsburg -- T-Stube
01.06 DE -- Cuxhaven -- Döser Börse
02.06 DE -- Hamburg -- Rote Flora
03.06 DE -- Chemnitz -- AC 17
04.06 DE -- Ulm -- Tanke
05.06 DE -- Trier -- Ex Haus
06.06 DE -- Erfurt -- Engelsburg
07.06 DE -- Mönchengladbach -- Blaues Haus
08.06 DE -- Aachen -- AZ
05.07 DE -- Fürth -- Fürth Festival
06.07 AT -- Micheldorf -- JukuZ Baraka (Open Air)
07.07 AT -- Graz -- SUB
08.07 AT -- Wien -- EKH
19.07 DE -- Dülmen -- Düb Schools Out (Open Air)
09.08 DE -- Köln -- Underground + Belvedere
21.09 CH -- St. Gallen -- Grabenhalle
Fights and fires
20.04 EN -- Corby -- Zombie Hut
28.04 BE -- Meerhout -- Groezrock Festival (Mcbeth stage)
Atlas Losing Grip
25.04 DE -- Kiel -- Shaubude
25.04 NL -- Gouda -- So What
27.04 DE -- Immerhausen -- Akku
28.04 DE -- Berlin -- Monsterbash
30.04 SE -- Stockholm -- Firestorm fest
08.06 NL -- Ysselstein -- Jera on air festival
04.07 DE -- Wermelskirchen -- Wermelskirchen
05.07 DE -- Saarwellingen -- Rock Camp festival
06.07 DE -- Zinnowitz --Utopia festival
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