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This weekend I’ll be mostly listening to the… Pains of Being Pure at Heart August 21, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

It’s easy enough to produce indie pop, isn’t it? Fey lyrics, strummed guitars, winsome singers, winsome songs. Saint Etienne have it down to a tee, which perhaps is why I’m not much of a fan of theirs, like yes, I get how good they are, but… On the other hand throw me the first Primal Scream album where Mr. Gillespie was channeling the Byrds, or The Field Mice – Sarah Records mainstays of the late 1980s and early 1990s, or even a certain Marty Wilson-Piper of The Church … now, that’s another matter.

But Pains of Being Pure at Heart do it in a clever way. They throw at least one reasonably novel element into the mix on their first album by roping in a very very soft Jesus and Mary Chain guitar fuzz to dirty up the melodies just a fraction. Now let’s not get overly excited. This isn’t, as some of its proponents would have one believe, truly shoegaze – or at least not my definition of shoegaze – and it’s not exactly sonic terrorism, but it is a pleasant enough additional element albeit teeth-grindingly twee for some (but when it gets too much there’s always Sunn O))), or Cathedral or Endless Boogie or…).

Do the songs work? Why yes, thankfully they’ve got an ear for melodies and song titles. The Tenure Itch, Young Adult Friction. You get the picture. And if you think you’ve heard some of them before, you probably have but not exactly like this.

Worth noting that they also reference The Field Mice, both in aesthetic – albeit not so much with the JAMC approach – and in titles. Their “This Love is Fucking Brilliant” which appears to be, one presumes and hopes, a not entirely literal account of a brother and sister, or is it sister and sister, who might be just a little too close, is almost a direct response to This Love is Not Wrong by TFM.

But the tracks I like best play to both sides of their influences, one the excellent Stay Alive which is surely a gem amongst indie pop [and along with a track by an obscure Norwegian crowd called Euro Boys, of which more later, perhaps the best song I’ve heard this Summer] and the other Come Saturday which is JAMC but with some other element, could that be a hint of 60s soul thrown into the mix.

They’ve released a subsequent EP that tries to balance the feedback with some more electronic tinged tracks, and by electronic I’m talking about a soft, inflected electronica close to – say – New Order or even the Cure on their more keyboard driven moments. I don’t know whether that works that well. Perhaps more listens will do the trick.


Come Saturday

Stay Alive

Everything With You

Young Adult Friction

And from their more recent EP, the title track…
Higher than the Stars


1. nineteensixtyseven - August 22, 2010

They’re not a bad band at all, their debut was very enjoyable.

I think you’re right about the mild Jesus and Mary Chain fuzz- I’m also detecting a bit of pre-‘It Isn’t Anything’ My Bloody Valentine in the mix. Speaking of MBV, have you heard a song called ‘Morning Light’ by Girls? It’s the closest thing to early shoegaze I have heard in quite a long time.


WorldbyStorm - August 22, 2010

I haven’t heard of them to be honest but Ill certain,y make it my business to now. Thanks nineteensixtyseven.

That’s interesting re MBV in there, you’re right of course but it hadn’t struck me.


2. Phil - August 24, 2010

A couple of these are pure Lush, although with a more definite Sarah/B&S influence. Hard being original these days.


WorldbyStorm - August 28, 2010

That’s true and there’s also a fair bit of the Smiths in there too.

It’s an interesting point there, are particular styles played out? I’m not convinced, but… on the other hand perhaps it’s time for some obscure musical approach to be revived and blow us all away.


3. This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… TOY « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - October 6, 2012

[…] And they’re clearly well able to do the faster than mid-range Indie that some might argue the Pains of Being Pure of Heart have made their own. Lose My Way, the instrumental Drifting Deeper and Colours Running Out in […]


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