Glorified Growing Pains
Look out! Here come The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, breaking into the alternative music scene with their self-titled debut album. Where did they come from? New York City, of course. This foursome has released an album of 10 bouncy songs with a noisy pop atmosphere of fuzzy, distorted guitar and solid punk beats that will make awkward teenagers dance with delight.
The album is very singable and catchy, while the songs sound vaguely familiar but totally new, wearing a sound reminiscent of 90’s nostalgia alt-rock. Vocalists Kip Berman and Peggy Wang sing dreamy and boundless emo lyrics that put forth images of teenage girls sitting on their beds fantasizing about their crushes. Their sound is cheerful and dreamy, not painful and gloomy.
The album starts off with “Contender,” which has droney chords and blissful melodies. The drums pick up the pace with “Come Saturday,” “Young Adult Friction” and “Hey Paul”. “Tenure Itch” feels like a sunny day, sounding a bit like Social Distortion’s “Story of my Life.” “Stay Alive” has nice, spacey vocals and an acoustic guitar that provides a nice break from the distortion. “This Love is Fucking Right,” with incestuous lyrical undertones, almost feels like the Pixies. One might expect “Where is my Mind?” to fit on this album somewhere, vocally if not musically. The stand out is “Teenager in Love.” It has a very catchy, groovy beat with heavenly chords. This song picks up where the Strokes left off and adds a joyful, drug-induced element. There are undertones of isolation in the lyrics that most teenagers have felt growing up. The album ends with the epic “Gentle Sons.” It has a noisy, spacey rhythm and gives a fitting end to the album.
After listening to the album a few times, the repetitive lines and noisy guitar can get a bit annoying if you’re focused on writing your Psychology paper on drug rehabilitation. The addictive beats and hooks more than make up for it though. This album would be good for a road trip playlist cruising with a group of close friends, windows down, music up, and substances optional.