A Second Chance
Peter Bjorn and John have become virtually synonymous with “Young Folks,” their whistle-happy anthem from Writer’s Block (2006). The band faced a difficult task in the aftermath of its release: how to progress from what was, in many respects, a thoroughly excellent album. Gimme Some, the Swedish indie group’s sixth studio album, tackles rougher musical terrain. And while the effort is commendable, Gimme Some doesn’t have quite the same irresistible charm as PB&J’s older records.
“Black Book” and “Breaker Breaker” start the album off in frenetic style with churning guitars and distortion, sounding much more like raunchy garage rock than pop. “I Know You Don’t Love Me” straddles the line between this raw, distorted rock and more melodic material, vacillating between loud verses and a catchy chorus.
“Eyes” and “Dig a Little Deeper” feel like perfect summer songs, melodic and catchy, with “Dig a Little Deeper” possessing warm surf-rock guitar riffs and a grooving percussion solo. “Lies” falls in the same vein, with a terribly catchy chorus and guitars that echo The Ramones (but much smoother and with better vocals, of course). PB&J slow things down on the reverb-heavy “Down Like Me,” a laid-back jam that ends in a pleasant haze of distorted but harmonious guitars and muted falsetto vocals.
Peter Bjorn and John trade the whistle from “Young Folks” for a funky cowbell on “Second Chance,” the most memorable track on Gimme Some. It has a darker, slicker tone than some of the band’s older material, but “Second Chance” is aptly enough the band’s best opportunity here to move on from Writer’s Block and try something a little different. Vocalist and guitarist Peter Morén may sing “You can’t can’t count on the second try,” but we can be glad that Peter Bjorn and John took another chance on Gimme Some.