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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Aquarian Weekly Feature"

published 11.04

Emerging from the tough terrain
of New York City’s crowded music
scene, ps manage to rise above the
din with their distinct brand of
musical prose. You’ll find fluid guitars
treading around sweeping
cellos, delicate electronic beats,
throbbing drums and the rich writing
of songwriter Patrick Savage, featured on the band’s new self-released album, Double Standards,
a follow-up to their earlier EP.

Enlisting the mind of producer
Paul Mahajan (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV
On The Radio, Liars), ps charged
into their hometown Brooklyn studio
to create an album that was a little
less friendly, more challenging and
risky by nature than their more
acoustic EP had been.

“We wanted somebody who was
going to take risks, and somebody
who would understand that we wanted it a little dirtier, and more raw than we did in the past,” says ps drummer Jeff Derringer.

For the better part of a year, ps had
been fine-tuning the arrangements
during shows, so when they entered
the control room with Mahajan, he
pretty much let them go, concentrating on the duplication of their live tonality.

“We do a lot of sonic stuff: strange
guitar effects and big string sounds
and stuff like that,” says Derringer.
“He was very helpful getting us to that place where we could achieve those sounds on the disc. It’s one thing to do them live, but it’s another to try to get them recorded. He knew the tricks in the studio, which is something we couldn’t obviously have done on our own.”

The effects of the teaming are
already getting recognition. High
Times magazine just named ps the
“Unsigned band of the week,” which
is a bit of a thrill for the band.

“Last year, CMJ named us something
like, ‘band of the month,’ in the
New Music Report,” says Derringer.
“That was exciting too. It’s nice to
start being recognized. It’s a natural
progression though…You start
putting it out there and pushing it and people start listening and you have to hope that someone’s going to get it.”

With lyrics like, “I need you to calm
me down,” and “Can’t we be happy?” from the track titled “Single Lines,” the music’s focus on the confusion and the strain of love are as innate as the musical ebbs and flow orchestrated around it. Other themes in songs such as “Apply” and “Reaching” mull over work ethics and getting what you deserve.

“I love the first one on the record,
‘Reserved,’ says Derringer. “…It’s definitely a little bit of a departure and being a drummer, it’s got this really heavy drum beat. It’s fun to play and it’s very dark and deep. When the album opens, anyone who’s heard the first EP is kind of like, ‘Whoa, who’s this?’ I’m also a really big fan of ‘Pylons,’ the last song. I think that song really represents us at our best. It goes from this very quiet beginning and by the end, it’s this devolvement
of sound. I think if you could pick one song that represents ps, it would be that one.”

You can get your copy of the
album on the band’s website:
www.ps-nyc.com, at www.insound.
com, or in the West Village at Rebel
Rebel. Of course you could always
pick one up at their show at Mercury
Lounge on Nov. 13.
- Aquarian Weekly


"Yellow Rat Bastard Album Review"

published 12.04

in the early 00s in new york, conventional wisdom said if you want to be a rock star, you play 3-chord, scuzzy, garage rock. put together some catchy choruses, play small clubs on sundays at 7:00 pm, and eventually you'll be dating some marginally talented but super-hot actress. thankfully, no on told nyc quintet ps this rule, and we are all better for it. like calla with a couple of jolts in 'em, ps fashion out moody, atmospheric rock built around soaring strings and patrick savage's booming voice. ps can definitely rock when they want as the dual-guitar attack of 'apply' aptly shows. however, it's songs like 'reaching,' with its depressing yet optimistic lyrics and music that crescendos into a brilliant piece of gloom rock that will make you take note of ps.
- Yellow Rat Bastard Magazine


"CMJ A&R ALERT - PS"

11.17.03

a gently resonating voice that sits somewhere between Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke; touches of sparse electronica; lush, soothing strings; lullaby-like melodies that crescendo and burst in fits of emotion–incorporating all this and more, ps is far from your average new york band.

"we hear our own sounds, really," says patrick savage, asked where his band finds inspiration. "the lyrics are personal, intimate. the music is dynamic - at times very gentle; at other times quite aggressive; oftentimes within the same song. the emotional shifts are what interest us."

that being the case, the group must be extremely interested when observing people's reactions to its live shows and recorded output (a self-titled ep released last year, and a second one on the way, both co-produced by thom monahan). because the music this band makes is moving. plus, with the changes that take place throughout the course of a single track, like "pylons" (from the new ep, currently available for free download in MP3 format from the ps web site), you'll find yourself blissfully swaying one moment, tapping your foot the next, and eventually giving in to a full-on physical spazz-out.

"we all love music - on a very basic level, that's the common bond," says bassist clint downing, exlaining the band's m.o. "we all have real life stress, but when we get together to play, everything else goes away. it's like therapy for us."

of course, while talent and a shared passion for making music will create a rewarding environment, like most bands on the path to success, the members of ps know there's more to it than just writing and recording great songs.

"we work very hard on all phases of the band," says drummer jeff derringer. "the music comes first, and we really put in the time in the rehearsal space to make it the best it can be. but, on other fronts, we're working just as hard - promotion, flyers, imagery, gear research...everything. everything we have goes into this."

"we do all our own promotional materials with resources we gather on our own," adds savage. "we do a lot of flyering, stickers, buttons, t-shirts, and any kind of little printed pieces we can come up with to leave around the neighborhoods where we play. we're very conscious of the look of these pieces and the look of our web site. we try to create a unified front, if you will. we manufactured our own ep and we sell it everywhere we can - at shows, on our web site, through friends, at stores who are nice enough to stock it. cmj college radio was a big help in getting our name out there (the first ps ep made it to no. 40 on the cmj radio 200 chart). we're merciless self-promoters, as I'm sure all bands at our level are, even though it sometimes gets embarassing. we're very confident in what we're doing, so that makes it easier, I guess."

luckly, ps is also in the enviable position of operating in the midst of a highly active music scene, but at the same time not sounding like any other band that prominently shares its city.

"one thing that separates us, I think, is that we're not purveyors of style over content," says savage. "this isn't about how we look or how we act or who we know. we're not really a part of the post-punk scene going on right now. I like to think we're carving out our own place in the local scene. that's what we want - just to be true to what we hear as a band and to be our own entity."

-doug levy, cmj new music report - CMJ New Music Report


"CMJ EP REVIEW"

ps
12.9.02

between the electroclash scene, the strokes and interpol, it seems everyone's talking about new york music nowadays. don't be surprised when nyc's ps becomes the next band that has everyone yapping. a six-member ensemble, ps is u nited under the vision of patrick savage, a damn impressive singer-songwriter whose brit-pop meets indie rock leanings do an amazing job of tapping into the current pop zeitgeist. Occasionally, ps's five-song debut evokes the spirit of early radiohead - all the same, the band manages to rise above trends and maintain a unique sound, despite wearing its influences on its sleeve. savage's thom yorke-meets-jeff buckley delivery is highly accomplished and, when he combines his vocals with the rest of ps's acoustic-based arrangements, each song offers enough warmth to keep listeners toasty on the coldest of winter nights. highlights include "gaaabidge," a song that rocks as much as a track containing strings can, and the closing "three words," a disheartened yet lyrically uplifting number. the hype officially starts here.

brad filicky, cmj new music report - CMJ NEW MUSIC REPORT


"NY POST PREVIEW"

mary huhn column
11.26.04

williamsburg's ps is led by irish transplant patrick savage, whose eerie vocals have been compared to thom yorke, but he's closer to patti smith (in a good, expressive rock way).

the music flips around acoustic and electric guitars, cellos and electronic instrumentals, with savage on lead vocals and guitars. he's also the techno whiz on the samples and loops. the five-piece act also features a classically trained, punk-rock-loving german cellist, ursula damm.

the group's 'double standards,' an emotive debut disc, lowers to shoe-gazing noise-pop levels and rises to punk frenzy, with acoustic guitars throughout.

ps performs at southpaw along with pela, eifffel tower, and fireflies.

- NY POST


Discography

11.02: ps ep
10.04: double standards

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

ps is a brooklyn-based quintet comprised of ursula damm (cello, keyboards), jeff derringer (drums, programming), clint downing (bass, vocals), patrick savage (lead vocals, guitars, programming), and erich
trusheim (guitars, vocals). formed in early 2002, ps regularly headlines new york and brooklyn venues including mercury lounge, southpaw, sin-é and
more, as well as clubs in washington dc, philadelphia, and boston. ps has played three consecutive cmj music marathon showcases, the 2003 south by
southwest music festival in austin, texas, the 2005 motor city music conference in detroit, as well as several ASCAP showcases, for jasper coolidge's VICIOUS, and crashin' in. in october of 2005 ps will play the NEMO festival in boston.

ps has released a self-titled ep and a full-length album entitled 'double standards.' both charted in the top 40 on cmj's top 200. this spring, ps scored original music for an adidas television commercial that was listed
in shoot magazine's top 10 soundtracks and on adcritic.com's top 5 commercials of the week.

currently ps are writing songs for a new album and are booking fall of '05.

"a gently resonating voice that sits somewhere between thom yorke and jeff buckley; touches of sparse electronica; lush, soothing strings; lullaby-like melodies that crescendo and burst into fits of emotion. incorporating all this and more, ps are far from your average new york band."
— doug levy, cmj new music report (11.17.2003)