PVRIS have undergone a metamorphosis with their third record, ‘Use Me’, shedding their skin to reveal a shiny new set of scales that scream strength and eloquence.
Reflecting this, opener ‘Gimme A Minute’ grows from a grass snake stalking through fields into a fully blown python, poised and poisonous. Telling the tale of finding one’s self after a bout of depression, leader Lynn Gunn emerges from the darkness a shining beacon of self-confidence and carries that light throughout the album.
Gunn‘s new found self-surety radiates from each track. The dance-y ‘Dead Weight’ is an album highlight. On here her vocals are fun yet fierce, accompanied by buzzing guitars and a bouncy bass line.
Lyrically, ‘Use Me’ is articulate without sacrificing that PVRIS charm. In the low-key ‘Good To Be Alive’, Gunn fires the contradictory line “it feels good to be alive, but I hate my life”, proving that none of the lyricist’s classic wit has been lost in the growth spurt.
As is the case with previous PVRIS releases, the album is top heavy, with its strengths residing in the first half. This isn’t to say that the latter tracks are weak; on the contrary, they too evidence growth.
The all familiar ambient instrumentation is interrupted for the finger-picked ‘Loveless’, demonstrating a tenderness that comes from experiencing pain and learning acceptance. Flipping this on its head, closer ‘Wish You Well’ is the phoenix emerging from the flames. It loops back to the bounciness of the opening tracks, perfectly encapsulating the full-circle nature of the Massachusetts troupe’s latest artistic endeavour.
People’s poet. Music and film blogger. South Park goth kid.