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The Pain Of Being Pure At Heart At Amoeba, Thursday May 8th 2014, Reviewed

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The Pain Of Being Young at Heart

What’s not to like about The Pain of Being Pure at Heart? Their pop songs are fresh and dynamic, full of boy-girl harmonies and bouncy like a morning on a spring day. I didn’t know much about them and just loved their long moniker. I mean you have to start by this moniker, it’s a romantic novel by itself, and I was wondering whether they would live up to it.

The New York quintet was playing a free show at Amoeba on Thursday night, following their show at the Troubadour, and in anticipation of the release of their upcoming third album ‘Days of Abandon’. During their seven-song set, their sound was immediately loveable and luminous, and got more or less on the explosive side, depending on the songs. Musically they may have sounded like Belle and Sebastian covering the Cure, but I didn’t get this impression right away, but rather after some time of reflection — you know the eternal tough task to describe music with words — they had the propulsive rhythm of these 80s band mixed with the dreamy voices of frontman Kip Berman and the female keyboardist. However, they were not forgetting the fuzziness and distortion, which were rising to the surface at times, and may be the fact that My Bloody Valentine’s producer Andy Savours produced their last album, has something to do with this? It may have been sweet music but it was embellished by cool bass lines and all these pedals, constantly pumping up the sound.

Singer/guitarist Kip Berman appeared to be the nicest and most humble guy you would ever meet, encouraging people to buy records at Amoeba, ‘not necessarily our record, but any record’, whereas their set, mostly including songs from their new album, sounded as sweet and light as the keyboardist’s crystalline vocals, particularly showcased during ‘Kelly’, which may have had a bit of the melancholy of the Smiths? I have no idea of the other musicians’ names as the band went through a new line-up and their Facebook page only lists Berman. He announced a song called ‘Life After Life’ and as the following one was named ‘Eurydice’ I thought, did they hear about the last Arcade Fire’s album?… not that the music had that same bombastic effect, not at all, I am just referencing the common Eurydice theme.

Days of Abandon’ will not be released before April 22nd, but people could pre-order it, receive an awesome lithograph and get it sign by the band. Think what you want about cover art – an unnecessary art prone to disappear? – but some bands still put a lot of effort in it, and TPOBPAH is one of them. They closed their set with ‘This Love is Fucking Right’ off their self-titled album, and wait a minute, did he singYou’re my sister and this love is fucking right’? Is it what I think it is? Or not? It may not be so innocent-like music than it sounds? Anyway, love is always fucking right especially for the pure at heart

Setlist

Until the Sun Explodes
Kelly
Simple and Sure
Young Adult Friction
Life after Life
Eurydice
This Love is Fucking Right

More pictures of the show here.


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