It has been a few years since the last pg.lost release, with the Swedish post rock band releasing ‘Key’ in 2012 followed by a split with Wang Wen in 2013. Since that time the group purchased their own studio and guitarist Mattias Bhatt relocated from Sweden to London, leaving much of the writing process to be done by the individual members and then brought together in focused sessions. Listening to the resulting full length ‘Versus’, due out September 16th on Pelagic Records, you certainly wouldn’t be able to guess that though. It’s a cohesive effort that captures the melancholy and somber beauty of the band’s previous works while pushing them into some new territory. Today we’re premiering the song Off The Beaten Path, the second song from the album.
What you’ll notice immediately is that for post rock, there’s a considerable amount of urgency and swagger to the instrumentation on this song. Some of the other songs on ‘Versus’ head back into that slower, sprawling territory that you’d expect from this genre, but more up-tempo and immediate moments like those showcased throughout Off The Beaten Path pop up here and there. That’s not to say that this is an entirely new direction for pg.lost, as ‘Key’ had songs like Terrain that showcased a bit of alt-rock style hooks, but the dynamics between the two tracks are fairly different. In particular, the band has emphasized the synthesizer this time around and it gives the material a different feel. With a driving bass line and distorted guitar licks that have an almost Queens of the Stone Age meets somber post rock feel, this song makes a strong impression. The synthesizer hovers over the rest of the instrumentals with a ghostlike presence, adding layers of airier melodies that provide more depth than you might expect from a song where the tempo suggests a simplistic direction.
There’s a definite groove to this song that caught me by surprise the first time I heard it, and when you have that base colliding with the same type of haunting, somber melodies pg.lost has become known for over their ten plus years as a band. It’s always exciting to see a group continue to evolve and push towards new directions with each record, and that’s what ‘Versus’ is capable of doing. ‘Versus’ releases September 16th on Pelagic Records.