Review : The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Higher Than The Stars EP
DrownedinsoundTwelve months ago The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were something of an underground secret. To say this past year has been a triumphant one for the Brooklyn foursome would be little short of an understatement. If anything, their rise to genuine mainstream contenders feels like a signature of auspicious patronage to a scene derided by many as being deliberately obscure or elitist; yet one listen to anything The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart would suggest anything other than a holier than thou sense of bravado.
While most of their contemporaries rest on their laurels seeing out contractual obligations whilst issuing that umpteenth single off their year old album, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart break the mould once more by not only putting together an EP of previously unreleased material, but also in raising the quality bar that slight notch higher. Far from being leftovers from their eponymous album sessions, 'Higher Than The Stars' and its three brand new accomplices represent a steady development that doesn't rely on the distortion infused likes of early releases The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart EP and 'Come Saturday', but actually adds a glistening sheen and polish fit for radio or any other medium of mass consumption....full text
MusicomhApart from having a brilliant band name, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are quickly becoming one of the most talked about new bands of 2009.
The ethereal and saccharine-thick indie-pop of their self-titled debut album back in February of this year met with a wall of widespread critical acclaim that was echoed and amplified by a rapidly expanding fanbase. This short EP is an affirmation of their talents, and unveils a band in a vein of fruitful form.
It begins with the title track as celestial synths race along a hypnotic rhythm section. The dreamy, effortless vocal from Kip Berman only adds to the sensation that, for all the world, this band sound like they should be from Scandinavia rather than Brooklyn.
103 is packed heavy with walls of lo-fi The Jesus And Mary Chain guitar noise, but is underpinned by an ever-present sense of melody and engaging pop nous. Falling Over, meanwhile, is as '80s as a backcombed leopard-print mullet with a Rubix cube nestled in it, and would throw Black Kids into a I'm-waggling-my-hips-but-I'm-actually-quite-jealous kind of a dance move...full text
InthenewsIn a nutshell…
Fuzzy, hazy, gorgeous indie pop.
What's it all about?
More dreamy indie that craves to fly away from the banality of the everyday. On this EP, Pains manage to transcend the mundane in both theme and sonically, much in the same way their self-titled debut did.
Who's it by?
Pains released their debut album earlier this year. Not only did it feel like a breath of fresh air, it seemed like they had reinvigorated the kind of delirious, fuzzy indie pop that hadn't been heard for years.
As an example…
"Now you can't think straight, because you're not straight/ in the back of her mother's car."
What the others say
"Our main problem is with the fact that over the course of the five tracks, not one song seems to stand out, opting instead for one constant stream of annoying, badly produced sound and refusing to diversify, even once." - Brad Kelly, Strangeglue...full text
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