Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Matt Oliver
It seems that every time I get out to big, big cities like New York, Montreal or London (and it's not too often), I wind up crawling into beds in neighborhoods that are less downtown and more those where respectable folks tend to raise their families. They are places where you see strollers and elementary school-aged children walking to school unattended in the mornings, when you're up early enough to see such a thing. So much of these big cities feels so alien. Everything's so immense and tough to get a grasp on as a grown ass man that to see a child navigating it with such each is a little disconcerting and tends to make you feel like a real lightweight. You'll see young mothers walking around congested and sorta frightening Manhattan with toddler in-tow and they behave as if nothing could be more natural than all of this hustle and bustle, all of these people piled into this congested moment. They're out and about still at hours that are inexcusable and wrong, but it's a different place and a completely different mindset so no one's to talk, no one's to think ill of it. It's just the way it be. You take this account of general life and general getting around the city, growing up amongst the chaos and apply it to the youngsters you can see out at the clubs and the hardly hidden hole-in-the-wall DIY spaces in these cities and there is that scene of those cultured and experienced kids, beyond their years in sleep deprivation and willingness to slag off responsibilities/homework for those rock and roll hours, where those twenty-somethings are playing music and singing words that speak directly to them, even if they don't really know it yet. They're the accelerated learners and those most likely to form the next smart and brash, energetic band of upstarts.
Singer and guitarist Paul Saulnier and drummer Benjamin Nelson of the Kingston, Ontario, duo PS I Love You made a record - "Meet Me At The Muster Station" - that is full of whip-quick hits of melting feedback and panicky pounces of short life and the kind of atmosphere you find in those days when every finds that their days are too short and their nights are even shorter. It's music for those precocious youngsters experimenting with their tolerances, learning when five beers and a shot are just enough over the course of a night and when that extra shot or extra beer sends one to vomit city. It's music that teeters on the edge between what's sensibly loud and suitable, what's good fun and getting one home at a respectable hour and what's crossed over into that time of the evening when there's a debt to be accepted, when no amount of sleeping in or recuperation is going to make the following day work out for anyone involved, but that's just what it's going to have to be like. "Meet Me At The Muster Station" feels like someone's thrown all caution to the wind and there's gonna be a good time had tonight, like it or not. There's love that need's attention. There's steam that needs to be burnt off and there's some goddamn howling that needs to be done. Saulnier sings, repetitively at one point that they're "lightin' it up, lightin' it up, lightin' it up" and it seems like it could be an epic fire that might never quit.
Paper Bag Records