Monday, February 16, 2009
the pains of being pure at heart - s/t
It's less than a month and a half into 2009, and yet quite a few people have already had their socks knocked off by the debut album from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. It's no secret how much I love this band, but I have realised I've not extolled my love of this record in great detail. As produced by the right royal Archie Moore (an aside: why don't people talk about The Saturday People anymore? That self titled record of theirs is brilliant!), it's a tight, fuzzy, noisy, catchy album full of guitars that make me dance and cry and darkly brilliant lyrics coated in hard toffee - sweet, but might just break your teeth.
My favourite tracks? Well, I love it all, but whenever I listen to it, I am always waiting in anticipation for track seven, "Everything With You", which ranks as one of the best pop singles in the last ten years. Honestly, as soon as the two minute mark clicks over and the most astronomical guitar solo hits, I disappear into the stars and whisk myself away into the most glorious pop heavenly bliss ever known. I am not exaggerating - those sort of guitar lines make me go crazy. It's one of those songs that, if I ever get to hear it on a dancefloor, it will turn it into a perfect, perfect night.
The one-two hits well and truly with "A Teenager In Love", all softly optimistic in tune but awfully, awfully dark in lyric, seemingly about someone who took their own life. There lyrics are incredibly dark - something I never quite grasped in all this listening, but it's this darkness that really provides a contrast to the beautiful, uplifting noisy pop. In thinking about this, a lot of great noisy pop has a dark undercurrent - I but think of The Painted Word-era Television Personalities and the lyrics on tracks like "Happy All The Time". Perhaps that's the contrast required - pop allows us to swallow the difficulties and awful truths of life in a way that helps to ease our troubles.
Anyway, I love the entire album - "Contender" starts the album off slowly, and over the course of the ten tracks, it builds and builds before closing with the Jesus & Mary Chain-esque "Gentle Sons". It's special, timeless and an album I am going to treasure and preach about quite a bit this year.
If you're in Australia, buy yourself a copy at Lost & Lonesome.