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?





Paul Weller - "Earth Beat" (Singles Going Steady)

Paul Weller's singular modes as a soul man, guitar hero, and techno devotee converge into a blissful jam about hope for the earth on "Earth Beat".


On Point and Click Adventure Games with Creator Joel Staaf Hästö

Point and click adventure games, says Kathy Rain and Whispers of a Machine creator Joel Staaf Hästö, hit a "sweet spot" between puzzles that exercise logical thinking and stories that stimulate emotions.


The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 1, Gang of Four to the Birthday Party

If we must #quarantine, at least give us some post-punk. This week we are revisiting the best post-punk albums of all-time and we kick things off with Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd., Throbbing Gristle, and more.


Alison Chesley Toils in Human and Musical Connectivity on Helen Money's 'Atomic'

Chicago-based cellist, Alison Chesley (a.k.a. Helen Money) creates an utterly riveting listen from beginning to end on Atomic.


That Kid's 'Crush' Is a Glittering Crossroads for E-Boy Music

That Kid's Crush stands out for its immediacy as a collection of light-hearted party music, but the project struggles with facelessness.


Percival Everett's ​​​'Telephone​​​' Offers a Timely Lesson

Telephone provides a case study of a family dynamic shaken by illness, what can be controlled, and what must be accepted.


Dream Pop's Ellis Wants to be 'Born Again'

Ellis' unhappiness serves as armor to protect her from despair on Born Again. It's better to be dejected than psychotic.


Counterbalance No. 10: 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols'

The Spirit of ’77 abounds as Sex Pistols round out the Top Ten on the Big List. Counterbalance take a cheap holiday in other people’s misery. Right. Now.


'Thor: Ragnarok' Destroys and Discards the Thor Mythos

Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok takes a refreshingly iconoclastic approach to Thor, throwing out the old, bringing in the new, and packaging the story in a colourful, gorgeously trashy aesthetic that perfectly captures the spirit of the comics.


Alps 2 and Harry No Release Eclectic Single "Madness at Toni's Chip Shop in Wishaw" (premiere)

Alps 2 and Harry NoSong's "Madness at Toni's Chip Shop in Wishaw" is a dizzying mix of mangled 2-step rhythms and woozy tranquil electronics.


Kathleen Grace and Larry Goldings Team for Wonderfully Sparse "Where Or When" (premiere)

Kathleen Grace and Larry Goldings' "Where Or When" is a wonderfully understated performance that walks the line between pop and jazz.


Run the Jewels - "Ooh LA LA" (Singles Going Steady)

Run the Jewels' "Ooh LA LA" may hit with old-school hip-hop swagger, but it also frustratingly affirms misogynistic bro-culture.


New Translation of Balzac's 'Lost Illusions' Captivates

More than just a tale of one man's fall, Balzac's Lost Illusions charts how literature becomes another commodity in a system that demands backroom deals, moral compromise, and connections.


Protomartyr - "Processed by the Boys" (Singles Going Steady)

Protomartyr's "Processed By the Boys" is a gripping spin on reality as we know it, and here, the revolution is being televised.


Go-Go's Bassist Kathy Valentine Is on the "Write" Track After a Rock-Hard Life

The '80s were a wild and crazy time also filled with troubles, heartbreak and disappointment for Go-Go's bass player-guitarist Kathy Valentine, who covers many of those moments in her intriguing dual project that she discusses in this freewheeling interview.


New Brain Trajectory: An Interview With Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree

Two guitarists, Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree make an album largely absent of guitar playing and enter into a bold new phase of their careers. "We want to take this wherever we can and be free of genre restraints," says Lee Ranaldo.


'Trans Power' Is a Celebration of Radical Power and Beauty

Juno Roche's Trans Power discusses trans identity not as a passageway between one of two linear destinations, but as a destination of its own.


Yves Tumor Soars With 'Heaven to a Tortured Mind'

On Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor relishes his shift to microphone caressing rock star. Here he steps out of his sonic chrysalis, dons some shiny black wings and soars.


Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras' tētēma Don't Hit the Mark on 'Necroscape'

tētēma's Necroscape has some highlights and some interesting ambiance, but ultimately it's a catalog of misses for Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras.


M. Ward Offers Comforting Escapism on 'Migration Stories'

Although M. Ward didn't plan the songs on Migration Stories for this pandemic, they're still capable of acting as a balm in these dark hours.

Collapse Expand Reviews
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.