Artist – Album: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Released: 3rd February 2009
Sounds Like: It’s 20 years older than it actually is.
Amongst many other equally great and important things, the early nineties brought us The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Sonic the Hedgehog and shoegaze music – the latter so named because the main players would often spend a lot of their stage time staring at their feet. It’s best proponents included the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Slowdive, who all managed to combine beautiful layers of distorted guitars with mumbled vocals that followed catchy pop melodies.
Back then Kip Berman, Peggy Wang and the rest of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart would still have been in some New York primary school, playing with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and probably yet to even hear of an effects pedal, yet somehow their self-titled debut authentically feels like a forgotten album from that time. It’s not so much an update of that older sound but a continuation of it, as if it never went away.
From the rousing ‘Come Saturday’ to the giddy ‘A Teenager in Love’, this record is an accomplished and confident first attempt. Chief single ‘Young Adult Friction’ emerges from the distortion to become a hook-laden anthem and went on to be named as one of the best tracks of 2009 in various end-of-year lists. The second half is slightly weaker, with the less memorable tunes, but all in all the future (or their take on the past) looks promising for The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. Contender – 2:40
2. Come Saturday – 3:17
3. Young Adult Friction – 4:07
4. This Love Is Fucking Right! – 3:15
5. The Tenure Itch – 3:45
6. Stay Alive – 4:56
7. Everything with You – 2:59
8. A Teenager in Love – 3:24
9. Hey Paul – 2:03
10. Gentle Sons – 4:32
Listen to ‘Young Adult Friction’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4itzHRpltQ