Music

The Pernice Brothers: Yours, Mine & Ours

Adam Dlugacz

The Pernice Brothers

Yours, Mine & Ours

Label: Ashmont
US Release Date: 2003-05-20
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

Perhaps it's because Joe Pernices' first band, the Scud Mountain Boys, was from Northampton, Massachusetts, but I've always connected his work with a feeling of American innocence. The sensation one is supposed to feel when you visit those small towns that still have a Main Street, where the police are respected, and everyone ignores the fact that the mayor is screwing his secretary. Some of this impression can be attributed to the magnificent melodies running through most of Pernices' work that bring to mind white picket fences, backyard barbecues, and softball games. There's also his voice that is as clear as a blue sky and as enjoyable as a warm summer breeze, which bears a slight resemblance to the golden pipes of Brian Wilson. Not to mention that he once released an album under the name Chappaquiddick Skyline, a title ripe with American references to a more idealistically viewed time. He also releases his albums on his own label, Ashmont, a nod to the small business model that is slowly being pushed out by large conglomerates. Finally, there was the last Pernice Brothers album, The World Won't End, which, despite being as musically delicious as a sticky bun, contained some of the most depressing lyrics this side of Morrissey. Hinting at the underbelly of life we often leave out of our tales of growing up in America. The kind of sordid details that we all know exist but for the most part would rather ignore through our lens of red, white and blue.

Not missing a beat, the cover of the Pernice Brothers' latest album, Yours, Mine & Ours, is adorned with fireworks exploding over a night sky. Evoking images of the Fourth of July, the most American of all holidays, seemed a fine way for the Pernice Brothers to begin their newest tales of life in New England. Opening with "The Weakest Shade of Blue", the singer asks, "Why don't you come away with me and begin something we can understand". The song spills over with all the hopefulness of a new romance, conveyed with upbeat guitars and soaring harmonies. It's the wide-eyed enthusiasm for starting something new that is vividly American.

On the second song "Water Ban", beneath the atmospheric synthesizers and layers of guitar a very Johnny Marr-ish style of guitar playing can be found. It's just enough to give away a very un-American influence. This notion is confirmed on "One Foot in the Grave" which belies a taste for the Cure's bouncier moments, before giving way to the manic drum pounding that ended a few notable Smiths songs. On the next song, "Baby in Two", the Pernice Brothers slow the pace, with Pernice's clear voice managing to make the line "Cut the baby in two" gorgeous. There is a positively shoe-gazing like moment of guitar feedback and synthesizer droning on "Blinded by the Stars", with Pernice asking no one in particular to "give a name to this terrifying change." On "Waiting for the Universe", Pernice adopts Morrissey's deeper baritone to proclaims that he's "waiting for the universe to die". In spite of the depressing lyrics, the song is backed by the up-tempo guitars that suit the Pernice Brothers best. Then, on "Sometimes I Remember", the Pernice Brothers treat us to a track that is very similar to "Friday I'm in Love" by the Cure.

Beyond serving as an excellent follow up to The World Won't End, Yours, Mine & Ours reveals a whole new side to the Pernice Brothers. After the alt-country leanings of the Scud Mountain Boys, the down-tempo Red House Painters-like Chappaquidick Skyline, and the Big Star power pop of the first two Pernice Brothers album, it's nice to see them throw fans a little bit of a changeup. Yours, Mine & Ours is overflowing with power chords, majestic harmonies, and lyrics of heartbreak -- it is just the presentation that is a little bit different.

Music
Music

All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of Pure, Peerless Pop

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.

Music

Folkie Eliza Gilkyson Turns Up the Heat on '2020'

Eliza Gilkyson aims to inspire the troops of resistance on her superb new album, 2020. The ten songs serve as a rallying cry for the long haul.

Music

Billy Corgan Brainwashed Me: '90s Alternative Rock and the Introspective Abyss

Once in its thrall, these days I find the overriding message of '90s alt-rock especially naïve and even dangerous.

Music

Human Impact Hit Home with a Seismic First Album From a Veteran Lineup

On their self-titled debut, Human Impact provide a soundtrack for this dislocated moment where both humanity and nature are crying out for relief.

Music

PopMatters Seeks Music Critics and Essayists

If you're a smart, historically-minded music critic or essayist, let your voice be heard by the quality readership of PopMatters.

Music

Monophonics Are an Ardent Blast of True Rock 'n' Soul on 'It's Only Us'

The third time's the charm as Bay Area soul sextet Monophonics release their shiniest record yet in It's Only Us.

Music

Bobby Previte / Jamie Saft / Nels Cline: Music from the Early 21st Century

A power-trio of electric guitar, keyboards, and drums takes on the challenge of free improvisation—but using primarily elements of rock and electronica as strongly as the usual creative music or jazz. The result is focused.

Music

JARV IS... - "House Music All Night Long" (Singles Going Steady)

"House Music All Night Long" is a song our inner, self-isolated freaks can jive to. JARV IS... cleverly captures how dazed and confused some of us may feel over the current pandemic, trapped in our homes.

Books
Books

Does Inclusivity Mean That Everyone Does the Same Thing?

What is the meaning of diversity in today's world? Russell Jacoby raises and addresses some pertinent questions in his latest work, On Diversity.

Books

Phuc Tran's Existential Trip of a Memoir, 'Sigh, Gone'

Phuc Tran's smart, tough memoir, Sigh, Gone, might launch a broken down kid to read 150 great books—for free, at the local library.

Books

Classic Shōjo Today: Moto Hagio's 'The Poe Clan'

Moto Hagio's The Poe Clan manga series a gender-fluid melodrama marked by deep psychological trauma.

Books

John Pham's ​J​&K​​ - It's a Matter of Perspective

In J&K, John Pham explores perspectives in the psychological sense. Like Picasso, he views things from more than one angle.

Film
Film

'Slay the Dragon' Is a Road Map of the GOP's Methods for Dividing and Conquering American Democracy

If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.

Film

The Road to Murder in Love and War: Three Films from Claude Chabrol

The character's in Claude Chabrol's The Third Lover, Line of Demarcation, and The Champagne Murders are obsessively doubled and mirrored, reflecting and refracting their hunger for sex, love, money, and power.

Film

'Memento' Is the Movie of the Attention Economy

We are afraid of time, and so like Leonard in Memento, we kill it, compulsively and indiscriminately.

Film

What Lurks Beneath: 'Jaws' and Political Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

Boris Johnson admires the Mayor in Spielberg's Jaws. Remember him? He was the guy who wouldn't close the beaches -- and sacrifice that revenue source -- during a public crisis.

Recent
Music

JARV IS... - "House Music All Night Long" (Singles Going Steady)

"House Music All Night Long" is a song our inner, self-isolated freaks can jive to. JARV IS... cleverly captures how dazed and confused some of us may feel over the current pandemic, trapped in our homes.

Music

All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of Pure, Peerless Pop

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.

Music

Folkie Eliza Gilkyson Turns Up the Heat on '2020'

Eliza Gilkyson aims to inspire the troops of resistance on her superb new album, 2020. The ten songs serve as a rallying cry for the long haul.

Music

Human Impact Hit Home with a Seismic First Album From a Veteran Lineup

On their self-titled debut, Human Impact provide a soundtrack for this dislocated moment where both humanity and nature are crying out for relief.

Music

Monophonics Are an Ardent Blast of True Rock 'n' Soul on 'It's Only Us'

The third time's the charm as Bay Area soul sextet Monophonics release their shiniest record yet in It's Only Us.

Film

'Slay the Dragon' Is a Road Map of the GOP's Methods for Dividing and Conquering American Democracy

If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.

Music

Bobby Previte / Jamie Saft / Nels Cline: Music from the Early 21st Century

A power-trio of electric guitar, keyboards, and drums takes on the challenge of free improvisation—but using primarily elements of rock and electronica as strongly as the usual creative music or jazz. The result is focused.

Books

Does Inclusivity Mean That Everyone Does the Same Thing?

What is the meaning of diversity in today's world? Russell Jacoby raises and addresses some pertinent questions in his latest work, On Diversity.

Music

The Killers - "Caution" (Singles Going Steady)

The Killers go for the big hooks and singable anthems on "Caution", but opinion is sharply divided about the song's merits amongst our Singles Going Steady panel.

Music

Lilly Hiatt - "Some Kind of Drug" (Singles Going Steady)

Lilly Hiatt sings about a different kind of love on "Some Kind of Drug". Hers is for a city and the impact gentrification has had its soul.

Music

There's Never Enough Time for Folk Music's James Elkington

The sometimes Wilco and Richard Thompson sideman, in-demand producer, and songwriter, James Elkington, muses on why it's taking longer than he expects to achieve more in a week than most of us get done in a lifetime.

Music

Billy Corgan Brainwashed Me: '90s Alternative Rock and the Introspective Abyss

Once in its thrall, these days I find the overriding message of '90s alt-rock especially naïve and even dangerous.

Books

Classic Shōjo Today: Moto Hagio's 'The Poe Clan'

Moto Hagio's The Poe Clan manga series a gender-fluid melodrama marked by deep psychological trauma.

Music

Salsa Band LPT Hints at the Genre's Future

LPT's debut album, Sin Parar, hits all the right notes for a contemporary salsa album.

Music

Jennah Barry Offers Up a Warm, Sublime Collection of Memorable Tunes on 'Holiday'

Canadian indie folkster Jennah Barry returns with her long-awaited sophomore album, Holiday, which takes on a looser, more relaxed approach.

Music

Fotocrime's '80s-Inspired Rock Is Often Half-Baked

Fotocrime's South of Heaven is interesting mostly in that it's one of the most mediocre rock records I've heard in a long time.

Music

Maria McKee Puts Down Her Electric Guitar and Picks up Dante on 'La Vita Nuova'

"Show Me Heaven" was another country. Maria McKee has moved to England, immersed herself in the Classics and turned away from the 21st century.

Books

Phuc Tran's Existential Trip of a Memoir, 'Sigh, Gone'

Phuc Tran's smart, tough memoir, Sigh, Gone, might launch a broken down kid to read 150 great books—for free, at the local library.

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

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