The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s self-titled 2009 debut was a fairly simply produced affair, full of hooks and melody, recalling the jangling sound of bands like The Pastels, The Wedding Present, and perhaps a touch of The Smiths. Their follow-up album, Belong, keeps the influences and catchy songs, but beefs up the production and guitars to good effect.
At times recalling Ride and My Bloody Valentine’s wall of guitars, at times betraying a Smashing Pumpkins influence, Belong‘s thicker sound results in an album full of the best of pop, with songs like the album’s opener, “Belong,” which has a nice mix of Kip Berman’s breathy vocals ending in an anthemic chorus, recalling such lesser-known British acts as Adorable and Kitchens of Distinction.
Throughout Belong, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have managed to update their sound in an organic way, with songs like “Heart in Your Heartbreak” taking the band’s jangly pop to a bouncy, energetic, and more rocking place. The more keyboard-driven songs like “The Body,” while not as rocking as the other songs, recall an updated version of The Cure and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and should get heavy dance floor rotation in your hipper establishments.
With their amped-up production married to their pop-writing skills, Belong reflects a natural progression, and one that should take The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to a wider audience while keeping older fans happy.
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