Secret Mountains started off a bit unsteady, but really grew into a precious and nicely textured bit folk pop; in particular, lead-singer Kelly Laughlin’s vocals grew really warm and full (despite having a nasty cough between songs). I’ll be on the look-out for their future work.
DC’s Deleted Scenes’ much-ballyhooed debut, Birdseed Shirt, didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me, or Alexa. But as I suspected, things really opened up for their sound live, where I got the full sense of their grand range and the broad textures used in their sound. In particular, the track “Ithaca” that I felt languished on the album, really expanded live into an appropriately grand gesture that swept you away. I really got a better sense of their refined arrangements, and the myriad small touches that make them much greater and more diverse than the average guitar-bass-synths-drums rock outfit. Add in their excellent stage energy, and I was duly impressed.
Deleted Scenes perform “Ithaca,” Live @ the Talking Head
Zazacut the lights and seduced me like no other group on the bill. The slinky bass grooves were motivating, and played well with the crushing weight of guitar. A mere three-piece, they made effective use of loops, effects and a drum machine to amplify their sound to epic proportions, sounding more like an army than any 3 people should have a right to. While their theatrics and music may have felt a bit over the top at times, their meticulous attention to atmospherics and every seeming detail of performance right down to the sultry, swaying bassist completely absorbed you in their performance.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were almost exactly what I expected: good kids having a good time playing good tunes. Their perfectly-pop compositions rang true, sugar-y and bouncey, hitting all the right nerves. For all their shoegaze-y aspirations, I thought they were a bit timid and reserved, especially in contrast to the preceding lusciousness that was Zaza, and their precious and affected vocals turned just a bit too much out-of-tune, but overall, a respectable and satisfying set.
Thanks to Shawn Breen for catching the audio, and the band for being so kind as to grant us permission to post it. You can find excerpts from the set here.
If you haven’t heard,The Pains of Being Pure at Hearthave released one of the hottest debut albums of the new year, propelled by waves of reverb, ecstatic drumming and harmonized boy-girl vocals. It’s even been named one of our ownRecommended Albums.
They playthe Talking Head Clubon May 5, and Kip, Peggy and Alex from the band were nice enough to do a quick interview with us in anticipation of the show. Thanks to the band for taking the time to talk to us and provide some insightful commentary on their music and the music scene in general. Tickets are $8, $10 day of show. Hope to see you there.
Aural States: How did the band start? How did you guys meet and decide to start playing together?
Kip Berman: We were all super good friends long before the band started. Read the rest…
Do you ever worry that somewhere along the line you got the wrong impression about yourself and it wound up shaping the person you are today? Like suppose in 5th grade your teacher complimented a story you wrote and you took it to heart, and now today you find yourself writing when in reality you’d have been much better off as, say, an astronaut.
I feel like The Pains of Being Pure At Heart may suffer from a similar delusion. How could they help it, really, with all the positive press referencing My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride, and just about every indie-tastic band just before the turn of the 1990s? And with months of buildup around the internet and the local media outlets about the release of their self-titled Slumberland debut, could the album itself possibly live up to its expectations?
A week after its release, critical opinion mostly holds that it did. Read the rest…
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