Sunday, 16 October 2011

Free Download Friday #112: Subdivisions

Now this is a bit closer to normal free download service... albeit that it's very late for a feature called "Free Download FRIDAY". (Supercheap Sunday anyone?)

PS I Love You by musicisentropy
PS I Love You, a photo by 
musicisentropy on Flickr.
I have made no secret of my love of Rush, so I was intrigued to hear of a Canadian indie band offering a free download of their cover of a Rush track. The band are called PS I Love You and the track they are covering is Subdivisions. (See the Rolling Stone site, MP3 Download: PS I Love You's Gritty Rush Cover 'Subdivisions' for details and the download link.)

PS I Love You are a duo of musicians who, like the Black Keys, are a guitar and drums only outfit, so they have a simmilar stripped down, raw style to the Black Keys. This makes the choice of Subdivisions for a cover all the more interesting. Subdivisions opens with Geddy playing the synth and is typical of that period of Rush where they were developing a slick, multi-layered approach to their music. In this cover, the synth part has been replaced by a rough and raucous guitar riff that really works (IMHO). In fact, if they had kept it as an instrumental cover, I think I would have loved it but then the vocal kick in... For me at least, Paul's vocals will take a bit of getting used to, so I only really like the track rather than an out and out love!

Now, before anyone else says it, I know that Geddy's vocal style is a stumbling block to many. His voice seems to be an acquired taste (although I never had any problem acquiring it!). I have no doubt therefore that there are people who have no problem the the PS I Love You vocals. However, I've listened to the cover version a few times now and the vocals are growing on me. I really like the feel of the track, and so have no hesitation in recommending it for download despite my reservations about the vocals. Oh, and it ends with a great bit of feedback!

What do you make of it though?

Just before I leave this band, I was amused by Paul's description of his gradual conversion to Rush in the Rolling Stone's article and Subdivision in particular with its, "epic synth intro". Subdivisions is a track I have used in the past to try and convert people to all things Rush. My recommendation is that people listen to it all the way through once, then go back and listen to it while concentrating on the bass line. Then again but concentrating on the drums. Then again, a fourth time, but trying to isolate the guitar part in their head before finally listening to it as a whole again. Each individual part is brilliant but the whole is even better. (And note, that I don't even touch on the "epic synth"!)

Finally then, a bit of the real thing. Rush have a live DVD: Rush Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland coming out in October and here is a trailer to whet your appetite:

Well, it's has my mouth watering!


Mosher said...

Popping this one here as it's musically related. Check out Volbeat if you haven't. I heard an advert for their upcoming gig on Rock Radio a month or two ago and thought "I like that riff".

Four albums later, loving them. Great variety in their songs and a very unique sound. The gig is at the Garage on Monday and, assuming I'm not dead tired after work, I'm hoping to pay on the door.

Tom C said...

Subdivisions is one of my all time favorite songs, and one of my favorites to play on guitar. Great post!

I am at if you are interested in reading my articles or a link exchange.

David said...

Hello Mosher

Volbeat did get a bit of airplay on Rock Radio but haven't heard them since it all went Xtra Small.

Hello Tom

Glad you liked the post. I'll check out your blog.

Mosher said...

The gig was great. Glad I went to the trouble of getting a ticket.

There's lots I've not heard on RR (sorry XS) in the last week or so, despite their pre-rebrand promise that things wouldn't change musically. For a start, where's Monday night's Metal Hammer show gone?

I listened to RR to hear songs I liked and to discover artists I didn't. Looks like a) is getting narrowed down and b) has gone.