Wednesday, August 3, 2011
REVIEW: Pure X - Pleasure
When I listen to the radio, I make a list of songs/artists that impress me so I can track them down later. Recently, I noticed that Austin, Texas' Pure X had earned several entries on the list. Investigating further, I discovered that this intriguing music was on the band's 2011 album, Pleasure. Thus, my mission of discovery became an album review.
Pure X takes a style of which I'm fond, lo-fi psychedelia, and then personalizes it by slowing it down and minimalizing it to the point where any added flourish or sound becomes more striking. The result is a hazy wave of delicious distorted vocals and reverby instruments. Some of the songs, such as "Easy", "Voices" and "Dream Over", have a pop feel to them, while others, like "You're In It Now", have have more of a jam vibe. If I pretend that I have a few seconds during an elevator ride to explain their sound to you, and I'm required to use at least four other artists as reference points (I only deal with realistic scenarios here), I'd say Pure X sounds like a combination of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Deerhunter at 2 AM after a session drinking and jamming with Townes Van Zandt and Neil Young.
The band was founded in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Nate Grace, bassist Jesse Jenkins, and drummer Austin Youngblood as Pure Ecstasy, and later became Pure X. Pleasure is released on Acephale Records. I understand that an earlier EP has been re-released as well.
"You're In It Now"
Pleasure is a good album for the rush you get when you hear the songs that first drew you to Pure X. But its lasting merit is in the way the entire recording works its way into the pleasure center of your brain, slowly but surely demanding recognition and replay.