ALBUM REVIEW: Peter, Bjorn & John - Gimme Some


Giveaway: Peter Bjorn & John's Gimme Some Vinyl LP + "Bird's Eye" T Shirt & Hoodie ?

C- | Startime | 3.29.11 | MOG | AMAZON | INSOUND

As co-creators of one of 2006/7’s most played and most remixed tracks, Swedish indie poppers Peter, Bjorn and John (PB&J for short) have always had something of a high bar set in front of them.

On the first listen of Gimme Some, I was quickly wooed. The joy of camaraderie came over me as first track "Tomorrow Has To Wait"’s catchy chorus induced me into sing-a-long fits. Second track "Dig A Little Deeper"’s springy Caribbean percussion made me want to get up and join a conga line, while the fast-paced guitar riffs and strained vocals of "Breaker, Breaker" pushed the party onward. Around mid-way through the album, I imagined myself being whisked off to a friend’s annual summer barbecue and with Gimme Some as the omnipresent soundtrack. Before long I had begun to wonder how long it would take until PB&J’s newest offering would grace our radio waves.

“Dig A Little Deeper”

It seems this Swedish trio have taken on board what learnings they made from 2009’s more experimental Living Thing and brought them in as decisive elements for this year’s offering. Awash with sparkly guitar and with a production quality that’s crisper than a leaf of fresh lettuce, Gimme Some blasts out all manner of styles, mangling them into an inter-connected sound. Rolling bass lines run rampant as we’re taken on a merry rollercoaster of harmless guitar pop mixed with punk, rock ‘n’ roll and a handful of surf rhythms for good measure.

Third track "Second Chance"’s erratic drumming and disjointed guitar lines make for a party piece that would shake any tail feather while the slightly darker "May Seem Macabre" lapses into muted Pixies-like riffage. "Eyes" throws out trippy playground melodies on pogo sticks and layers on the kind of grunting bass that wouldn’t look out of place on a Vampire Weekend record. Grandeur-full ender "I Know You Don’t Love Me" evokes the bittersweet misery of the album’s cover art to send the whole affair off beautifully amidst a fizzing, crashing crescendo.

Quite possibly the best track on the record is the woeful, self-deprecating "Down Like Me." At 3:49, this carefully loudening number kicks off with a few giant acoustic strums to then flow deeper and deeper into its bass-laden, repetitive mass until exiting triumphantly with an indie rock angst ripped right out of the nineties.

“Second Chance”

The buzz surrounding this album seems fair enough. These are the same boys who brought us the ubiquitous "Young Folks," after all. Gimme Some’s delightfully grisly album artwork also makes a good bid for this year’s coolest cover sleeve, preceding the shadowy undertone that zigzags throughout the album’s cheery pop center.

However, there’s an element of tedium that seems to pop up throughout the record. Although most of the tracks on this LP are entertaining, there is no spark to lure you back in for a second or third listen, which is surprising from a band like PB&J. With all the indie pop artists that are out there right now, this offering just doesn’t seem to bring them any distinction from the rest of their peers. Also there are a few misses present. "(Don’t Let Them) Cool Off" attempts the twinkling fuzz of The Smiths without any of the charm while "Black Books" comes off as an unconvincing minute-and-a-half of sped-up pop punk filler.

Taken as a whole, Gimme Some works out a rollicking romp of festivities with the immediate radio-friendliness that’s effortlessly cool. They’re bound to do well in the pop rankings and car commercials, but anyone looking for more substance may want to search elsewhere.

We have a copy of Peter, Bjorn & John's Gimme Someon vinyl to giveaway. We're also throwing in a "Bird's Eye" T-Shirt and Hoodie. To enter just comment below using your Facebook account (make sure to check the "Post to Facebook" box). Tell us what you think of the record and/or this review:

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