To be quite honest, last year I was rather obsessed with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s fuzzy and melodic self-titled debut, but I began to worry later in the year when they put out their “Higher Than The Stars” EP. The same fuzz-laden dynamic was present on that disc’s tracks “103″ and “Twins,” but I worried that the band might eventually forgo all the distortion for a quieter more synthesized vibe. The title track to that EP lacked any distortion what so ever and was more of a sunny-synth affair. Did this band know their strengths? Would they ever release another album as good as their debut? Only time would tell. “Say No To Love” is a two-track EP, consisting of the title track and its b-side, “Lost Saint,” and I’m glad to say that with these two songs, the Brooklyn band has achieved an effective balance between the two extremes. Yes, the synth-work is still a growing part of the formula, but a distorted layer is still present. The title track sounds like a slightly dreamier off-shoot of the foundation their debut began to build. The production is shinier and glossier, recalling a slightly softer, cleaner answer to their track, “Come Saturday. ” “Lost Saint” is slightly darker and prettier, adding a new element to their sound. Singer, Kip Berman’s voice is high and especially ethereal with the guitars turned down and Peggy Wang-East plays a very nice, retro eighties keyboard line to give the song depth. It’s evident that The Pains of Being Pure At Heart are edging away from shoegaze and closer to dream pop. Of the two tracks, “Lost Saint” is more memorable. Hope is not lost. This band is still growing and finding their sound. When they release a second full-length, one only hopes that it will be as distinctive and as addictive as their debut. In the meantime, this EP stands as a reminder of what could be to come.
Review: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s “Say No To Love”
Jul 13, 2010 1:00pm