THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (2009)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart I’m not exactly sure what constitutes “lo-fi” anymore (that’s what happens when a recording style morphs into a genre), but whatever it is, apparently, it’s having a bit of a resurgence. Last year, the term was attached to Titus Andronicus, No Age and Vivian Girls – all bands whose albums garnered a considerable amount of year-end praise, although I maintain that only one of these bands actually released an album that deserved it (hint: it’s certainly not No Age, and it’s not the all-girl punk-throwback group, either).

Late arrivals from this lo-fi train are The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, a band who opt to write fuzzy pop songs instead of fuzzy punk ones. Listening to their self-titled debut, I can’t help but think of A Place To Bury Strangers, even though the only musical thing that the band’s share is a noisy spirit. Beyond that, though, both bands have long-ish names, both hail from New York, and both released their self-titled debuts in a little over a year from each other. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Trent Reznor picked these guys to open for him on his next tour.

But I digress. Let’s return to the album – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, despite being a pop album, doesn’t go for the cheap pop pleasantries (power-chorus! begone!); it sounds more sophisticated, like something Belle & Sebastian might make, if John Congleton were to produce their next album (it’s not that big of a stretch – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart already have the moody album cover thing down). My advice? Skip Vivian Girls, skip No Age, grab Titus Andronicus’ The Airing of Grievances if you haven’t already, then give this a listen to. Who knows, maybe, after listening to the two albums back to back, you might actually figure out what “lo-fi” means, nowadays. And if you do, please let me know. I promise, the secret’s safe with me.

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One Response to “THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (2009)”

  1. […] my feelings with some of the more recently trumpeted lo-fi acts in my review of the debut of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, so I don’t need to go into anymore detail there, save for the fact that after listening to […]

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