January 12, 2009

Review: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart | Self-titled [MP3s]

In our estimation the classic Slumberland sound is a product of just the right proportions of melody and distortion, dreampop and shoegaze. Certainly, there are exceptions and outliers: the first period of work from the amazing, phenomenal, superlative (and so forth) act Rocketship hardly relied on distortion at all, while in places on its self-titled EP Henry's Dress buries melody almost completely under a narcotic, face-melting sonic (c)rumble. As we stated previously here, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's music bears the hallmarks of the classic Slumberland sound, and so it is appropriate that the venerable label will issue the New York-based quartet's self-titled full-length Feb. 3. Guitarist and singer Kip Berman's not unpleasantly nasal voice comes across like Dean Wareham's, particularly on the single "Kurt Cobain's Cardigan," but like the complementary guitars and synths that characterize The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's music, it is when Berman's singing is combined with the angelic soprano of keyboardist and vocalist Peggy Wang that the band's songs really take flight.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart contains an embarrasment of noise pop riches including the now relatively familiar uptempo gems "This Love Is Fucking Right," "Everything With You" and "Come Saturday." But the amazing thing about the collection is that every song could be a single; there is nothing that could be dismissed as just "an album cut." "A Teenager In Love" boasts that Bowie-esque "Modern Love" double bounce, a Motown-ish vibe and is the most minimal-sounding production on the set. "Gentle Sons" is a dense, throbbing anthem with majestic streams of feedback spangling its closing section. "Hey Paul" feeds back over thundering bass not unlike songs of the aforementioned Henry's Dress. And so everything points to 2009 being a break-out year for The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. The band's "Everything With You" single, released in December, sold out in about two months; it previously issued a self-titled EP in 2007 and the sublime "Kurt Cobain's Cardigan" single in 2008. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart embarks on a one-week tour of the Northeastern U.S. (plus two Canadian dates) Feb. 7, and we've posted all of the pending tour dates below two MP3s, including one for "Everything With You." We plan to cover that Feb. 15 Boston show, so check back around then for more coverage of the band.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart -- "Everything With You" -- Self-titled
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart -- "Kurt Cobain's Cardigan"
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[pre-order The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart from Insound here]

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

02/07 -- Mercury Lounge -- New York, NY
02/08 -- Kung Fu Necktie -- Philadelphia, PA
02/09 -- Black Cat Backstage -- Washington, DC
02/10 -- Garfield Artworks -- Pittsburgh, PA
02/11 -- Schubas -- Chicago, IL
02/12 -- Neutral -- Toronto, ON
02/13 -- Il Motore -- Montreal, PQ
02/14 -- The Monkey House -- Winooski, VT
02/15 -- Middle East -- Boston, MA
03/13 -- Bell House -- Brooklyn, NY
03/14 -- Talking Head Club -- Baltimore, MD
03/15 -- Local 506 -- Chapel Hill, NC
03/16 -- The Earl -- Atlanta, GA
03/18 -- SXSW - Red 7 -- Austin, TX

1 comment:

Justin Snow said...

And the Middle East show has 8-bit shoegazers The Depreciation Guild opening! I'm so psyched for that show.