PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
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.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


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.