Sophomore albums are a tricky business. PVRIS opened fans’ eyes, ears and hearts with their 2014 debut White Noise. It captured their epic sound in all its glory; a dark cocktail of electro-pop meets electro-rock complete with memorable vocal hooks and riffs and haunting lyrical concepts. Following a debut with so much promise is no easy task and can go either way. This year we’ve had Royal Blood deliver more of the same, whereas Circa Waves took their sound to another level. So which way have PVRIS gone with All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell?
I’m pleased to say they’ve come back with a bang. They haven’t radically changed anything about them; they’ve simply refined and enhanced what made them so attractive on the first record. Certainly, singles ‘What’s Wrong‘, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Winter’ suggested they had not sacrificed the heavy intensity for the safety of pop hit formulas. However, this album goes deeper than their first and shows a maturity and development rarely seen by young bands today.
Lynn Gunn’s ability to flip the switch from pop elegance to rock snarl is stunning.
The album was conceived in a haunted church which accounts for the natural reverb that can be heard throughout. This may also have contributed to the otherworldly vibe of the album and it gives the music a live feel. This is an album packed with catchy songs; ‘Anyone Else’ has hit written all over it; Lynn Gunn’s ability to flip the switch from pop elegance to rock snarl is stunning, as are MacDonald’s bass lines and Babinski’s guitar melodies. Not to mention the beautiful orchestral coda.
However, they don’t get stuck in a pattern. Each track offers something unique – ‘No Mercy’ flaunts their punk tendencies, ‘Separate’ goes darker than they’ve ever gone before, and ‘Nola 1’ might be the finest conclusion to an album I’ve heard this year.
It’s dark and it lingers in the mind. It’s an outstanding work of art.
Catchy pop meets intense rock.
Each member is in top form.
A contender for album of the year.
|3. Anyone Else|
|4. What’s Wrong|
|5. Walk Alone|
|6. Same Soul|
|8. No Mercy|
|10. Nola 1|