Peter Bjorn and John: Gimme Some – review

(Cooking Vinyl)

If Peter Bjorn and John's 2009 album, Living Thing, was the sound of a band beating a belligerently experimental retreat from the mainstream, its follow-up suggests they have decided the mainstream isn't such a bad place after all. Gimme Some is, accordingly, a pop record through and through – albeit a spiky one in places, unsettled by the aggressive guitars of (Don't Let Them) Cool Off and surprisingly abrasive lyrics to Black Book ("Your music sounds like shit") and Breaker Breaker. Even at its most jagged, however, Gimme Some comes across as power-pop by numbers, the effortlessness with which the Swedish trio spin cheerful melodies and ineffable hooks making almost every song sound uncomfortably derivative. The grand exception is the opening track, Tomorrow Has to Wait: its stark, stamped rhythm and Peter Moren's lip-chewing vocal are as arresting as they are apparently simple – and threaten to dominate the summer much the way the cutesy whistling of PBJ's breakthrough 2006 single Young Folks did.

Contributor

Maddy Costa

The GuardianTramp

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