PVRIS are masters of growth. On each new release, they manage to perfect their signature dark, brooding, synth-rock while still exploring new styles.
This is just as true for their new EP, Hallucinations, which is the perfect blend of what fans know and love about PVRIS along with development and progression. Hallucinations is playful and at times just plain weird but still stays true to PVRIS.
In an interview with Rock Sound, vocalist Lynn Gunn said that Hallucinations was created during a chaotic but fun period of time while the band went through label and team changes, and that atmosphere really comes through in the sonics of this EP.
No song is any one way—the songs are constantly morphing and shifting. As soon as you think you’ve figured out the form of a song, the track throws a curveball or surprises you. It feels as if the songs have been cut up and modified, with hooks and sections inter-spliced at times.
Perhaps the best example of this is the bright and energetic track “Nightmare,” which marries traditional rock grit with pop sensibilities, featuring diverse synth grooves layered under hook after hook. The chorus is driven by a heavily distorted guitar riff and is interrupted by screams that sound like they were sampled from a horror movie.
While “Nightmare” combines diverse elements within the same section, “Old Wounds” stitches together sections that sound like they come from entirely different songs, expertly navigating drastic shifts in tones, energies, and tempos. Its heartbreaking melody flows into a blaring, choppy electronic bridge, followed by acoustic guitars as it builds to a dramatic and anguished finish.
Both “Old Wounds” and the dark and empowering “Death of Me,” which strikes a brilliant balance between pop and rock, sound the most like typical PVRIS tracks.
The remaining songs see the band branching out more. “Hallucinations,” co-written with Marshmello, is the most pop-leaning song of the collection, with a killer guitar section in the bridge that takes the influences that drove past songs like “What’s Wrong” to another level. The EP’s sole ballad, “Things Are Better” alternates between being stripped back and layered. It’s quirky with gripping vocal hooks and electronic elements that keep you on your toes.
Gunn continues to use her unique and dynamic voice in impressive ways, from the falsettos of “Things Are Better” to the frustrated yells on “Old Wounds.” Guitarist Alex Babinski and bassist Brian Macdonald are more than able to keep up with the versatility the songs demand, giving the songs added energy and flair.
PVRIS have described Hallucinations as a teaser for their upcoming 2020 album, and, if that’s the case, the band’s third album is going to be monumental.