It's an awkward name I think we can all admit, but THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART make some very sweet music indeed. They have recently released their second full length, "Belong" to a lot of critical praise. What they have done is taken their nostalgic slightly twee sounding approach and beefed it up with a heavy dose of shoegazer angst. The result is a record that has both depth and breadth in the sound.
The opening title track drones away with all the might of a vintage MY BLOODY VALENTINE track before surrendering to their better pop instincts. This is a common approach to the songs on the record and serves the band well. The sheer pop genius that was so apparent on their first album is a bit muted here, only resurfacing in 80's inspired "Heart in Your Heartbreak" which could very well have been an outtake from their debut. Throughout the album, Kip Berman and Peggy Wang intertwine their vocals to make a singular sound. Berman lyrics still have some of that schoolboy poetry to them but they are not out of line with a lot of what is being written about in indie rock these days.
This is a record of a band stretching its legs and finding new ways to take its sound out for a walk. The move into more sonically adventurous territory serves them well and makes for a really enjoyable listening experience. This is certainly no pain...
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong by Slumberland Records