By Gregor Farquharson (@gregoratlantic)
Alt rock outfit Pvris have certainly blown up since their 2014 release White Noise, and have changed the way people view female fronted rock bands. The bands first album did wonders, leading them onto support slots with BMTH and opening for Muse. Fronted by Lynn Gunn the band blend the use of guitar and synth into an almost new genre and use their singers vocal skills to their advantage. Their latest album AWKOHAWNOH has had such a hype and buzz around its release: does it live up to expectation, or is it just another band who can’t quite match the quality of their debut?
Opener Heaven was the first track to be released from the album and gave us a slight idea on what the bands new sound was going to be. Opening with an isolated piano and the strong vocals of Gunn which leads into leads into a distorted synth feel, and launches into the strong and powerful chorus. It is clear the track has been made to be anthem-like, with the use of the synths, powerful vocals and light drum beat throughout. Loops are also used and they work superbly with the feel of the track. Addressing the elephant in the room, the lack of guitar in the opener is easy to hear, and perhaps slightly takes away from the aspect of this being a Pvris track.
Second up on the album is Half. Opening with a washed out guitar riff before building up to the drum and synth work the band is acclaimed for, it is a different feel to the album opener. The almost infectious chorus and prior build up is a really strong element of the track. Again, Gunns strong and powerful vocals shine through, and really add a whole new layer to the track, making it unique from similar sounding bands in the genre. Anyone Else is again similar to Half and fits with the theme of songs on the album being over the 4-minute mark which makes the track seem to drain on.
The track beautifully blends into the acclaimed What’s Wrong. The second song to be released from the album, it automatically showcased a new sounding Pvris. Again opening with the washed out sounding guitar tone, a reoccurring theme on the record, the track is built bit by bit, implementing the vocals of Gunn. The song feels rockier than the first three tracks, while still having that classic synth poppy feel. The catchy, upbeat chorus utilizes the unique vocals of Gunn brilliantly, showcasing an exquisite blend of high and low tones. The bridge of the song is amazingly produced, playing the lyrics “No I’ll never sell my soul” before beautifully going back into the massive chorus we have already heard. The track is definitely one, if not the best on the album, and will no doubt be a massive fan favourite. Walk Alone is again a mellow track, and is very much played out, and features around a minute of harpsichord music at the end. Same Soul and Winter are much more upbeat tracks, and are the first of which on the record to fall under the 4-minute mark. Both tracks feature more guitar and give the tracks a different feel to the album.
No Mercy opens with powerful vocals with the drained out synth sound playing behind it. This continues until the vocals slow right down, before falling silent and going straight into the humungous chorus. The chorus on this track is massive and is everything we know and love about the electro-pop outfit thrown into the one. The production on this track plays a big part in why it sounds so good, blending the rhythmic drums, synths, guitar, and vocals together so seamlessly. The bridge of the song is a beautiful build up back into the astounding chorus. The track is definitely going to go off live, and crowds will love to belt out the absolutely massive chorus. Separate and Nola 1 both close the album brilliantly. Much slower songs, and using drained out vocals they show the effort and work the band has put in on the record.
Overall, the album shows a different sounding band to what we heard on White Noise. The obvious effort to be more of an electro-pop band rather than alt-rock outfit is clear throughout and it has been executed well. The length of some songs seems unneeded at times, and certain tracks drag on for what seems like a while. Other songs however certainly please listeners, and definitely show the band are ready to sky rocket at any time.