The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s debut is a playful album which draws on avariety of pop and rock influences from the ’80s and ’90s. ThinkLost in Translation soundtrack and you’re not far off. Alternatively,if you’re not a fan of Ms Coppola’s work, hints of My Bloody Valentineand House Of Love are to be found here in abundance.
Though not exclusively so. At times they draw deeply from the wellof ethereal wave music, such as mid-’80s era Cocteau Twins.Indeed, the album opener Contender is a prime example of this – it’s arelatively gentle song, with some dreamlike vocals atop a dose offeedback and distorted guitar, particularly in the latter half.
Young Adult Friction is the standout track of the album – a fantasticpop song, with upbeat guitars and a catchy melody. The lyrics refer toan illicit encounter betwixt some bookstacks in a library, and containthe great lines “We came, they went, our bodies spent / Among the dustand the microfiche.” Danceable hooks and sex in academia? I’d buy thatfor a dollar.
Come Saturday and This Love Is Fucking Right! are a bitforgettable, aside from the latter describing an incestuousrelationship, with the line “You’re my sister, and this love is fuckingright!” (Again, hats off to the person who penned these lexicalgems.)
There’s some head-nodding potential to be found in The Tenure Itch,which also possesses a pleasingly stripped-back middle eight, containinglittle more than drums and an organ. And things pick up further,tempo-wise, with Stay Alive, complete with a host of guitary goodnessand the life-affirming vibes that the title suggests.
The second infusion of pop is to be found in A Teenager In Love,which is a touch subversive. It’s jaunty, but the lyricsare far removed from jauntiness, “A teenager in love with Christ andheroin” being the full refrain. Not only that, but the young girl inquestion has apparently recently passed on. But you can’t really hearwhat he’s singing about anyway, so please do bop away merrily.
The finale is a suitably epic affair, weighing in at a mighty fourminutes and 32 seconds, making it the longest track on thealbum. About two thirds of the way in is a drum sequence exactly likethat used in Just Like Honey by The Jesus And Mary Chain,which was itself used over the final scenes of Lost in Translation.Neat.
All told it’s a slightly patchy album, but one which is nonetheless savedby a couple of pop gems. As such, it’s a worthwhile acquisition, albeitone you needn’t put it at the top of your wishlist.