The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - EP
For many, a single called “Kurt Cobain’s Cardigan,” was the first peep heard from New York’s The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (the name of which comes from a friend’s unpublished children’s book); further exploration shows a band clearly in command of its influences. This, its first EP, is a collection of tunes celebrating the joy of jangly, noise-pop outfits like the Vaselines and the Shop Assistants, but the group wisely reaches back even further: the seminal Television Personalities are inarguably a force here. Clanging, echo-drenched percussion and guitars, wiry production, and Kip Berman’s uncanny resemblance to the TVP’s Dan Treacy (sometimes askew, pleading vocals you just want to hug) belie the influence of that early British punk band. Not a bad way to start. On tracks like “Hey Paul” and “The Pains of Being Pure At Heart,” there are hooky melodies, with underlying sheets of fuzzy guitars pushing the needle ever so slightly into the red. “This Love is F*****g Right!” would be a radio staple in an alternate universe, its cascading guitar notes at the end evoking the days of carefree, AM radio pop music. Beauty.