It’s hard to believe Joe Pernice once stood around in muddy farm fields threatening to burn down silos and shoot the livestock. On Yours, Mine & Ours, the former Scud Mountain Boy sounds, more than ever, like someone who’s never set foot in rural America.
He does, however, seem to have a newfound love for simplicity. Gone are the symphonic strings that marked the Pernice Brothers’ last outing, 2001′s The World Won’t End. Relentlessly jangly guitars are the focal point this time out, along with from-the-heavens harmonies that will make you wish the Summer of Love never ended.
More than anything, Yours, Mine & Ours finds the sextet playing the role of retro-minded musical pirates. The Pernice Brothers are best here when plundering the late-’60s and the early ’80s for artistic inspiration. “The Weakest Shade Of Blue”, which includes the great line “Will you light me up like a lemon grove?”, is paisley pop at its purest, while “Waiting For The Universe” is shuffling folk-rock seen through kaleidoscope eyes.
Elsewhere, “One Foot In The Grave” will be deliciously cold comfort for those who have never quite gotten over the death of the Smiths, and “Water Ban” winningly marries spaghetti western-flavored guitar with the most ’80s-indebted vocals this side of Interpol.
Yours, Mine & Ours doesn’t get everything right; “Blinded By The Stars” sounds like a lost track from the easy-listening atrocity that was Chicago, and should have been shitcanned immediately after conception. Still, making such missteps is better than repeating oneself, something Joe Pernice and his band of brothers are obviously, and admirably, determined not to do.