In charting through the timeline of their sound, Pullover’s evolution isn’t as blatant as one might like to see, but in that is a beauty. Mostly, Repossession Blues feels like an aimless search from the narrator’s perspective, where we the audience are in the front row seats of the misadventures that are sure to follow. The feelings, whimsical and wild, surge in both familiar and scattered ways, but it laid out the images of Phil Pucci, frontman and originator since the days of Melt, before the one-man show became the trio, which again morphed into today’s 5-piece outfit. By using the former as a backdrop, it’s easier to the stage for what Forever, their newly minted album dropping on Feburary 7th, 2020, shows as a cultivation of the band’s synergy over the past few years being together.
The first song, We Remember, perfectly sets the stage for the rest, bringing in both indecision and a choice made by the narrator as the song goes on. “Tonight, there is nobody left we remember” opens to a discussion between the two, the narrator and the girl referenced, signaling an issue with changes in their immediate world. It almost speaks, along with the echoes of the title name through the track, to a passage of time where we lose sight of all others while pursuing someone else. The instrumentals throughout draw listeners into a relaxed state, letting a dream-like atmosphere take over. In a way, We Remember feels a bit like a love song, where all we can think about early on is the one we’re entranced by, and Pullover hits all the right tones to lure us in.
Recycled follows well with the opening track. To its namesake, the writer talks to what their looking for, expressed constantly with the line “I want it to be real”, and following up with different traits. Almost as a direct reference to the source, the first verse opens up with “Nothing could be real then it’s written out, write that hook and feel it, it’s in my blood”, and that line evolves over the course of the song, as if the time going by makes the desires stronger. While doubling back that the subject is “true enough” now, expressing those hidden thoughts is rough and usually taboo, but the honestly is refreshing, even as far as to in a way break the 4th wall within the lyrics.
The track that speaks the loudest, while pulling in an opposite direction, is Married, near the end of the 10-track collection. The tone takes a turn into darker territory, both lyrically and with the overall feel of the sound. While subtle, the clouds coming over the town the writer lives in and the whisper stopping them on the way out of their home, in the first set of lyrics, both create the mood and situation occurring in real time. It’s expressed that something happened between the couple, the writer and their partner, by linking the feeling of time not moving and the line “You’re never gonna let it go, I know” at the end. It’s such a familiar issue, forgiving an action in order to leave it in the past, that it resonates best while also being something we all hate and just want to get past.
The last track, coming through in the same dreamy atmosphere as the first, is Caitli’s Song, named for their bassist Caiti Mason. As a proper cap-off to the album, an air of feel-good returns in the few lyrics the track is comprised of, circling into a note that, despite all that has happened, the cast within the track is still there for each other and will listen even still. The send-off feels self-contained, but it reads like a love letter to each of the band mates, from Alex Smith on drums and Nicholas Holman on guitar, to Brooke Weeks on the keyboard. It would be very easy to imagine this song to be the finale at any live performance, leaving the audience a bit of love on the way out.
In an interview with the former culture outlet Creative Loafing back in 2018, Phil explained that the next album, the first that the now 5-piece band would release together, would play out like a “’90s romantic comedy” as a theme. With each member citing different influences that would contribute to Forever’s direction, the title sources from that past interview, from Clueless to Along Came Polly, mesh well with the dreaminess that takes hold of each track, and yes, it helps to imagine our favorite rom-com movie scenarios while listening in.
Forever, encasing 7 new tracks as well as the 3 previously released between 2019 and 2020 (Ride, Beat-Up Car, and Dream Away), not only feels like a warmer work, but has more direction than the previous drop. In part, the band picking up new members between the 4 plus years before now brought not only stability to the original line-up, but in time formed the band into a family. Considering that, it’s no wonder why the new album feels so much like a labor of love, even when at times playful and sporadic.
Pullover will be playing on Friday, February 7th, at Snug Harbor, starting at 10pm. If you want to check out more from them, here’s a couple links to introduce you to the group!
~ Pullover’s Forever launches on all streaming platforms on February 7th, 2020 ~
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