Article by KevW
It's been a long time since The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's glorious, scuzzy indiepop debut album catapulted them to cult hero status. One thing they've never been afraid of is change, and while the general bracket the band fit in would be indiepop, it's been brought to us in various guises. Second album 'Belong' was packed with great tunes but the extra polish didn't go down as well with some fans. Then last year, and with a new band containing only Kip Berman from the original line-up, came the stunning 'Days Of Abandon' which again shunned the lo-fi approach but was arguably the most accomplished set of songs thus far, earning them their second album of the year award from us.
What next? Well, the first track to be unveiled from new EP 'Hell' was a lovely, if pretty straightforward, cover of 'Laid' by James. As nice as that was, it was a little misleading, as the title-track goes to show. 'Hell' is another slight alteration in direction, with an '80s flavour that somehow recalls Malcolm McLaren's 'Buffalo Girls' as well as the twangy, tropical indie found on Beach House's first album. At first this comes across as being a bit underwhelming, but as soon as the melody builds and the chorus hits you start to realise that they've pulled off another new trick. Repeat plays only enhance things. It's difficult to tell whether (if they choose to continue down this route) this new sound will work over the course of a full LP, but as a single it's a very welcome stopgap from a group who should be stars.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's website
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