PVRIS - All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Is Hell (Rise Records) 2017
To find yourself, your role in this life is difficult, when you’re tumbling down a slope of unpredictability, when your heart is tangled, when hope doesn’t cut it, you’re truly a ticking bomb waiting to blow. But music like this may aid you in your pursuit of some sort of clarity, it may alter your horizons. This sound is cathartic, and it all exudes from the souls that play in a band truly on song. PVRIS are the act, blossoming and flourishing beyond compare, committing themselves to create extraordinary music without cascading towards self-doubt.
Yes, lead singer/songwriter Lynn Gunn has suffered from her own personal issues and snippets of that hell can be heard on the bands new record. An album which bounces off wonder, a record which offers the listener a way to escape their hardships for a slender while, and the slenderness may only be thin and the story may only last for around 43 minutes, but it’s remarkable enough for us to fall straight first into a famed drama.
All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Is Hell, follows on from White Noise, a record which solidified PVRIS as notable and significant. The record was paved in wonderful bashfulness at times, with Gunn squaring off with her demons. And White Noise contained many hard-hitters too, emotional thrusts, deep agony, restless breakdowns. But, it was a debut layered in gold.
Now, PVRIS are world stagers. They’ve gone beyond, preparing themselves for bigger tours and bigger audiences. With this meteoric rise, the band are equipped, their armoury is full of stellar songs, and their outlook is bright. So, we can expect to see them on the road, bringing their music to the masses. And Lynn Gunn is a spokeswoman for the disenchanted, a dream chaser, a singer with much to say, and she’s admired by many in an industry predominantly occupied by men. But she’s a livewire, stretching out, bellowing throughout the songs which carry the new record. All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, is hell bent on shuddering the spine, its influence is great, its content even more so. The instrumentals go from being subtle to gathering pace, Gunn’s vocals alert the senses, and she’s grasped forceful notes. Her words are darker here, produced from a mind dealt a blow, but she seems able, and she seems to cope under a strain of the hazards thrown at her.
With all this tension, the songs are admirable. Opener “Heaven”, signifies purpose early on. Gunn bellows throughout the chorus, shaking the ground with a starkness, offering a beat of truth. Someone took her heaven away, and she’s angry about that, emptying her thoughts of rage. What’s Wrong begins with a startling drumbeat, complimenting Gunn’s voice of authority, she sings about feeling cynical and miserable, she also begins to lift her voice, screaming about disregarding metaphors. Winter is haunting, Gunn sends her grievances like letters written with intelligence and guts. The chorus is like a bolt of lightning, you won’t expect it.
PVRIS are a band coping under the weight of stardom, and their music isn’t drenched in happiness, but it’s emotionally impactful, and that’s what we all need when we’re looking for a sound to fall into and to heal us.