The Perishers: Let There Be Morning

Mike Schiller

From The OC to your CD player, The Perishers are out to... well, not rock you so much as lull you to sleep.

The Perishers

Let There Be Morning

Label: Nettwerk
US Release Date: 2005-04-12
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon affiliate

I have a confession to make, one that may just destroy any credibility I had gained to this point as a music reviewer: I am an OC addict. There, I said it. I've been drawn in by the exploits of the pretty people in southern California, plots and subplots straight out of the 90210 handbook, and, perhaps most importantly, music that actually has a chance in hell of being taken seriously by all but the most jaded, elitist viewers. The presence of Modest Mouse as a featured artist on the show was my own tipping point; others surely, have been drawn in by The Killers or the tantalizing "hear it before it comes out!" Beck teaser in mid-March. At the very least, I take some solace in the idea that I know I'm not the only formerly self-respecting soul to fall into the show's Venus flytrap-like vise grip. We are many, and our numbers for better or worse, are growing.

There is a point to this self-indulgent intro: It was actually with some sense of anticipation and excitement that I listened to The Perishers' Let it be Morning, for this Swedish act's American claim to fame is the use of two of their songs on The OC. I mean, when had Ryan, Seth and the rest of the gang ever let me down?

As if to lend just a bit more credibility to the old maxim, "there's a first time for everything", Let There Be Morning turns out to be incredibly boring. Given that everyone who has never seen The OC has likely moved on to another review by now, allow me to present to you, remaining readers, a scenario. Think about the end of an episode. Pretty much everything that was going to happen has already happened, and there's a quiet, plaintive musical selection backing a montage of the characters from that particular show, all of them reflecting upon what took place over the course of the previous hour, trying to carry on with their lives despite the incomprehensible craziness of the world around them. With such a sequence comes an implication of the tenuous grasp most of us have on some sense of normalcy, and it's usually an effective way to close out the hour -- satisfying, if not particularly optimistic.

Now, stretch that montage out over the course of an entire episode and try to tell me you're not either sleeping or watching something else by the time 10 minutes pass. That's what listening to Let it be Morning is like.

It is not an offensive album by any means, on the contrary, much of it is very, very nice. This is stuff that mom will like, that you can play at work and nobody will notice. The album cover features various shots of sunsets, clouds, and a lovely horizon, perfectly indicative of the music housed within. You may even find yourself singing along with a few of the songs, as some of them manage to be fairly catchy. It's near impossible to forget the simple melody lines of "Sway", swirling in and out of the mix over a piano that's a vague approximation of Coldplay's "Clocks" on a Prozac-alcohol cocktail, and the OC-endorsed hit "Trouble Sleeping" manages to bump the tempo from 'slow' to 'medium-slow', so it's got that going for it.

Brief high points aside, however, the whole album is just so methodical, deliberate, and homogenous that it's near impossible to make it through the whole thing (all 40 minutes of it) in one sitting. There are no peaks, no valleys, no reasons to really care. It's an EKG without a pulse, a straight line of contemplative, cumbersome balladry that never takes off into joy or anger or sinks into pure, unadulterated self-loathing. Just a lot of "I want" and "I would" and "I'm still". The band veers into genuine emotion on "Pills", a duet where primary vocalist Ola Klüft is joined by one Sara Isaksson to explain that they "need pills to sleep at night", but the delivery would be far more effective if they didn't sound like they were on said pills when they recorded the song.

I don't doubt that there are people out there who would love Let There Be Morning -- it's consistent, if nothing else. I just need a little plot, a little conflict, and maybe some memorable characters to go with my peaceful, melancholy resolution. Is that so much to ask?


Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.