In true, unexpected DIY fashion, The Please & Thank Yous recently dropped their second full-length with little advance notice and virtually no fanfare. That’s too bad, because At Your Merci shows a surprising amount of growth from a band that did a pretty good job of crafting busy nu-emo jams on their debut, Mind Yr P’s & Q’s.
What’s different this time around? These songs are “heavier” than anything on Mind Yr P’s & Q’s, partly trading out a more jangly, Pixies-esque aesthetic with lots of open space for something less quirky and more straightforward. The slight sonic shift works; the band sounds much more well-rounded and assured here: “Dysnomia” may simultaneously be the catchiest and loudest song the they’ve written to date, with a simple yet still-freewheeling guitar line and plenty of impressive drumming; “Stupid Question” wallows in lower-end guitar tones and slower tempos, sounding like a Weezer b-side; “Your So Boredom” shows off the band’s pop sensibility, which once bubbled under the surface of quick tempos and off-kilter compositions but now comfortably resides in that middle ground between weirdness and accessibility.
The Please and Thank Yous keep it varied with more somber material like the plodding “Aglaia” and the minimalistic ode to an axe, “My Guitar.” At Your Merci also closes with “Naan Sequitur,” which does in fact appear to be an acoustic breakup song centered around Asian food. Punny, and a fitting end to a fun album that shows lots of positive growth from the Please and Thank Yous, a band with a still-weird name but the songwriting chops to get away with it."