In Never Out

Written by: DR on 17/12/2009 16:14:17

My acquaintance with this Swedish quartet only reached as far as their debut EP "Yes I Am", and though I strongly doubt there's a single person on this planet who can construct a convincing argument doubting this band's talent - because they seem to have been blessed with it in abundance - but they didn't quite seem to have a flair to them that would set them apart from the rest of the budding post-rock fledglings. Since then they have released the debut full-length "It's Not Me, It's You!" which I have yet to listen to, though opinions on it seem fairly polarised. Am I fool for passing over their sophmore album? Probably. However, I'm determined to make amends with their third attempt in as many years: "In Never Out".

From the moment you play this CD you are liable to fixation because of the sheer instrumental goodness on show, especially if you have an affection for climatic post-rock that's best heard with the volume dialled all the way up to twelve. It's this go-for-broke style that makes pg.lost seems less pretentious than other acts out there, it's also far more accessible, but it also falls into danger of feeling predictable on occasion, and sooner or later it starts to feel, dare I say it, comfortable. You get the impression they are attempting to keep you on the edge of your seat, which they succeed in doing for the most part, they just don't quite push you off the edge like you'd hope.

The incredibly Explosions In The Sky-esque first few minutes to opening song "Prahanien" is a captivating start, and the build-up to the brilliant crescendo catches you off-guard, and once said crescendo does arrive the drummer Martin Hjertstedt will take the plaudits for a brilliant performance. The real money-shot is "Heat of Hearts". Why? Well, for a certain amount of time (I won't tell you when it comes, that'd be a spoiler) it's nothing but serene and gentle guitars, you begin to wonder where they are taking you with it, and then CRASH. The pace is picked up and the surprise takes you so intensely you wonder if you have just been raped (in a good way [Ed: what?]). It's that man Martin Hjertstedt again, along with the guitarists Mattias Bhatt and Gustav Almberg, who combine superbly to create what sounds simply like God shouting. It's pure awesomeness. Forget the boundaries of post-rock for a second, "Heart of Hearts" is one of the songs of 2009.

"In Never Out" is a bit of an enigma. Is it one of the must-hear post-rock releases of 2009? Without a doubt. But do I suspect pg.lost can do better? Without a doubt. This album screams: "so much potential," and they are well on their way to fulfilling it. There are moments of genuine post-rock genius that stand far above the rest of the album, which leaves the rest, by comparison, sounding just plain good. It's more than worthy of its

Download: Heart of Hearts, Prahanien, Still Alright
For the fans of: Caspian, God Is An Astronaut, Gifts From Enola, Sleepmakeswaves
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 11.12.2009
Black Star Foundation

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