[29 May 2014]
PopMatters Music Editor - Canada
Pacific Mean Time is a band that was born of the ashes of another group, Little Beirut. After that outfit’s Edwin Paroissien found himself unemployed in the winter of 2012, and the direction of Little Beirut wasn’t going where he expected, he simply started something new. It’s hard to distinguish this different approach without hearing the output of the former band, but, by all accounts, it was pretty power pop. Pacific Mean Time, meanwhile, takes a more indie pop sonic to songwriting, with nods to both the Pet Shop Boys in its electronics and Death Cab for Cutie with its guitar rock and singing in equal measure. And, all in all, Pacific Mean Time is a generally tornado proof statement, even if the songs on it tend to not achieve the sonic lift off that you might expect. However, this is a remarkably assured collection of songs, and there are plenty of highlights to be found on it, even if the album slacks off towards the end.
Pop purveyors might be instantly attracted to a song here titled “Bo Derek”, about said actress of 10 fame. At nearly six minutes in length, this is a laid back and breezy song that is among the strongest on the album. However, the record gets off to a bracing start. “Blindfolds” is a lilting and gentle lullaby, and begins the LP on a graceful note. “Minutes to Midnight”, meanwhile, is sufficiently glitchy with its drum machine beats, and might be something that would be destined for the dance floor. “Straight Shot (Towards the Sun)”, on the other hand, offers a smattering of Mellotron, and is slightly psychedelic in nature. And the smartly titled “Last Song On the Record”, which it is, is a gorgeous ballad that sticks with the listener. Overall, this is a fine collection of songs, and while it never takes flight in the way that you would expect, Pacific Mean Time is pretty darn good. Fans of indie rock will find much to enjoy here, and there’s a great deal of careful attention to detail that makes this a worthwhile release to anyone with a hankering for a good, catchy song here and there.