The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Release date: November 13, 2015
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have never apologized for who they are as a band. While many have attacked them with claims of unoriginality, the band has never fought back. Let’s face it, this crew was releasing alt-rock that was an indie take on sounds from the 80s long before it was cool. You can’t blame a band for being ahead of the pack. In the case of Hell the band goes a step further, offering one original song and two covers to create a short EP that not only stays consistent with their body of work but is a fun listen.
Opening with the title track, Hell creates a sound somewhere between the alt-disco of the Bravery and late era Smiths, around the Strangeways, Here We Come release. The result is a jagged guitar riff that turns into quirky indie pop brilliance. Next up is a cover of Felt’s “Ballad Of the Band.” This laid back track grooves like Tom Petty jamming with the Lemonheads. Its clean guitar evokes the image of a young Johnny Marr. Finally, the jewel in the crown of Hell is a cover of James’ “Laid.” This song is a monster to begin with, and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart give it a polished take makes it even more listenable and fun than the original. The vocals provided by Jen Goma of A Sunny Day in Glasgow sit perfectly between the acoustic guitar panned hard to one side and a slightly dirty guitar sent entirely to the opposite side of the mix. The two guitars create an effect almost like a piano.
If you’re waiting for The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to blow you away with a new sound you’ve never heard before, their consistency should prove it’s going to be a long wait. Then again, we’re talking about a band who never made claims to being anything other than what they are. Hell is three songs of an established band doing what they do very well.
Reviewed by Jim 1340