[Album Review] Pure X “Pleasures”


On July 5th Pure X (formerly Pure Ecstasy) will release their anticipated LP, Pleasures, much to the chagrin of their fans who have eagerly awaited this after numerous EPs and singles. Let us say, boy was it worth the wait. Pleasures affirms the group’s unique lo-fi minimalist rock and pushes their instrumentation further. The album feels like a personal swim, diving deep within one’s conscious, and exploring the unearthed noises.

As opening track, “Heavy Air” begins, a welcoming chord pulsates, then a few sparse notes hold, before soft vocals like a siren’s call usher us deeper into a growing distortion. Once buried deep, the distortion quickly dissipates, unveiling that we’re fully immersed in Pleasures.

In this fashion, Pure X’s sound has been described as “surf rock.” Warped lo-fi guitar notes build psychedelic layers, washing over muffled lyrics that often sound like internal fumbling of late night thoughts. From a lyrical stance “Voices,” in an almost playful chide, vocalist/guitarist Nate Grace reminders listeners, “I know, I know it feels like there is no place left to go, uh oh, I know, I know, I know, that everywhere you look is dark, no you don’t know where to start.” Even within the darkest depths—it’s as though Grace exclaims, “It’s ok.” “Surfaces” instrumentally feels like a dark cloud with notes billowing into a forlorn haze, paralleling the way one’s mind wanders after too many drinks. The dark tones which one might expect to build into a craze like a Jimi Hendrix guitar-solo, instead, remain calm and even-keeled on Pleasures. This perfect balance between comfort and craze makes Pleasures an album worth listening to.

Pure X: “Voices”

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/3sjkcqsxbey6e057hexl.mp3]

Pure X: “Surface”

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/3vn2hubnpfefztg3kbsj.mp3]

Pure X: “Heavy Air”

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/djzu79qjrmj8k526dro9.mp3]