[LP] PETER BJORN AND JOHN MAY SEEM like a dead band but that’s quite a MACABRE view on a still vibrant crew

we’re pale and cold and dry, they’ve done their best to make us go in style

♫ Peter Bjorn and John – May Seem Macabre

Peter Bjorn and John are an odd band with whom I have an odd relationship. First “Young Folks” took the whole world by whistling storm but who ever really got into the rest of that album? Certainly not me. Then their 2008 instrumental album Seaside Rock flew under everyone’s radar but somehow I got into the standout jam “Kraut Rock” and wondered if these guys were really up to something. 2009’s Living Thing put that notion to rest as I spent much of the summer trying to get stoked on an album that always left me reaching for the skip button. Needless to say I was wary of anything coming from camp PB&J and so only hesitantly covered their latest album’s first leak “Breaker Breaker.” But doing my normal TBE due diligence (and stoked on the stellar RAC remix of  “Second Chance”) I grabbed the whole album and started playing it. As opposed to in 2009, the repeated listens I gave Gimmie Some actually paid back. Each time I finished the album I noticed I had a more positive feeling towards it. And so that is how I have arrived here – over 2 months after the albums release – to tell you that I like this album. I enjoy it thoroughly but the only thing is that I can’t really explain why. No single song grabs me as an instant classic or Best Of 2011 contender but a series of solid jams (like “May Seem Macabre” above or “Second Chance”) build a solid wall of rock with uniformly functional bricks. I have racked up quite a few spins Gimmie Some and can easily see it as a summer mainstay, it’s swinging hooks and bouncy beats keeping me company as I sweat through my new TBE shirt, beverage in hand. If for some reason you still need convincing then see “Dig A Little Deeper,” “Eyes,” “Down like Me” and “I Know You Don’t Love Me” for further arguments.

Peter, Bjorn and John – Second Chance from Peter Bjorn and John on Vimeo.

♫ Peter Bjorn And John – What I Could Do If I Wanted To (“Dig A Little Deeper” B-Side)

Or nab this “Dig A Little Deeper” B-Side that the band is giving away. It;s not nearly as shiny-fun-times as the rest of Gimmie Some, leaning more towards their sharper rock edge. Kinda. Whatever. It’s tense and thick and shreds.

♫ Peter Bjorn and John – School Of Kraut / Seaside Rock, 2008

BONUS: Kettle drum, hand-clapping, and guitar work that will get your blood pumping. One of my favorite instrumental tracks of the last decade comes from PB&J’s under-known 2008 instrumental album Seaside Rock. Not a stellar LP but this track alone makes up for other tracks’ slack.

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