Touted as one of the most anticipated albums of the year, Pvris’ sophomore effort comes off the back of the trio (Lynn Gunn, Alex Babinski and Brian MacDonald) bursting out of the Warped Tour bubble and going onto playing major stages. ‘All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell’ marks the beginning of a new chapter for Pvris; one full of personal exploration, stylistic expansion and expectation.
On the surface, ‘All We Know…’ is a cold, atmospheric alt-pop record that pushes Gunn’s voice to the forefront. Leadoff single, ‘Heaven’ bridges the gap between the album’s predecessor with a stirring number containing a subtle hook. ‘Half’ is a punchier affair with a strong vocal display riding along Babinski’s haunting guitar lines. While ‘Anyone Else’ epitomises the album’s light and dark pattern; one moment it’s vivid, the next brooding.
Throughout Gunn’s self-doubt and self-deprecation are clearly made evident. ‘What’s Wrong’ focuses on the pressures of unwanted fame (“You got my back against the wall, and now I can’t ever get comfortable”). Elsewhere, she reflects on a past relationship (‘Same Soul’), the initial break up (‘Separate’), and the need for a distraction from her mental health issues (‘Winter’). Gunn’s vulnerability and honesty is ‘…Hell’’s anchor. With each listen, her poetic mindset becomes more intriguing.
For all its lyrical prowess, ‘All We Know…’ suffers musically by often being bleak and (slightly) monotonous. Pvris definitely aren’t the rock band they are on paper; ‘What’s Wrong’ and ‘Winter’ venture into admirable electro-pop, with album closer ‘NOLA 1’ being pinned down by a pleasing guitar groove. Nevertheless, ‘No Mercy’ is a fiery highlight, delivering a much-needed powerful hook as its chorus stomps with angst.
Overall, Pvris avoid the pitfalls of having clear intentions for major success. Instead, ‘All We Know…’ evolves from what has become before it, yet is redefined by a band being true to themselves. This honesty assures Pvris’ status will continue to rise.
’All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell’ by Pvris is released on 25th August on Rise Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)