My God, hasn’t this shoegazey-summer thing been absolutely done to death? Yes! I hear you cry. Whether or not it’s been done to death well, however, is another matter entirely. And this is where Austin trio Pure X roll up, because they do do it well. Better than most, in fact.
Name change or no name change (the band were originally called Pure Ecstasy), the sentiment remains the same; they still channel the very effect that their moniker strives for. If you’re in the market for immediate and catchy choruses to belt your indie lungs out to, you’re probably not going to find much to fall in love with. Each track is about patience, unravelling themselves like some drug-fuelled, reverb-laden mess (an awfully good mess, mind) into your ears. Indeed, if this album were any more laid back, it’d be in danger of keeling over. That’s not to say there’s not a wealth of joy to be had from Pleasure, just that upon the tenth or twelfth listen it suggests slowly diminishing returns.
Recording live might not be a feat to behold in some people’s ears, but it’s this quality that lends the album a playability rarely heard in other similarly produced efforts. Sure, play this through your tinny laptop speakers for a while, but after that we implore you, no, we beg you to sit alone in your room and stick this on your headphones. It sounds truly magnificent.
It must be said that Jesse Jenkins knows his way around a bass line; they seem to literally melt out of the speakers, especially on ‘Dry Ice’ and ‘Easy’. Coupled with the pedal-perfect guitar work of Nate Grace, Pleasure is some of the most textured music around. Elsewhere, opener ‘Heavy Air’ is about as magnificent an instrumental opener as you’re sure to find, sounding like a muggy day soundtracked by a strung-out Psychocandy, while ‘Twisted Mirror’ beats out the darkest of summery gloom and ‘Surface’ careers off track into the nearest this album ever gets to a dance tune. It’s like club music in super slomo. Brilliant.
From Joe Abbitt.