Well it took a long ass time but the debut full length from PURE X (formerly known as Pure Ecstasy) is finally here. Coming from the Acéphale label, they dropped this one just in time for summer.
If you found yourself even remotely interested in their earlier efforts then you should have no trouble here as this is the culmination of just about everything they’ve done up til now. Things open up slowly with the increasingly foggy “Heavy Air”, where you’re already probably thinking “this is exactly what I wanted this to sound like.” Vigorous textures being to open things up along with spectral vocal howling, making you believe these guys are currently at the height of their powers, which is easy to see.
This reveals “Dream Over”, being a jangly dream pop number that brings familiar longing vibes right to the spotlight – something that eventually becomes the theme of the record. This is followed by the tranquil “Twisted Mirror”, where familiar grainy guitars begin to swirl and float above your head, hypnotizing you with their subtle gazing textures that rarely loosen their alluring grasp. This brings another familiar jam called “Easy” right into play, where splashing guitars go a long way to reinforce the endless thirst that comes through in these songs.
“Surface” begins with a brooding, almost haunting tone that slowly grows into something of significance, characterized by murky basses and fizzy snare hits while soft and creepy vocals start to work themselves in as well. In the end this comes off as more of a soundscape (or dreamscape) than anything else (similarly to “Heavy Air”), constantly burdened by slithery instrumentals and eerie organs. “Stuck Livin” features passionate and sincere vocal howling, further pushing this record into psychedelic fascination, while “Dry Ice” lazily drifts through the atmosphere, broadened by more grainy guitars which evoke triumphant emotions.
Coming down the home stretch, “Pleasure” seemed like it would have offered something bigger considering it’s the title track, but instead it’s like a small encapsulation of what this record essentially stands for – it truly acts as the definition of their unique sound, bottled and capped. This leaves us with the closer “Half Here”, immediately glowing from dense guitars and a calmly flowing rhythm. The yearning vibes are still completely intact, offering no surprises as the steady snare pushes this song through a quick dose of burning metallic noise for an emerging finale.
If you ever need to sit back and do some soul searching, this should be your record of choice. It’s soothing, healing and emotionally significant and certainly deserving of more recognition that it will ever receive. This record focuses heavy on emotion, textures and simplicity, something you should pick up on as things play out, not to mention that it literally sounds absolutely fantastic. About a year later after some of the early and most promising 7″ singles, “Pleasure” finally hits the shelves and it’s everything we were hoping for.
Heavy Air –
Dry Ice –
My Rating: 9.1/10
Genre/ Tags: Dream Pop, Psychedelic, Lo-Fi
1.) Heavy Air
2.) Dream Over
3.) Twisted Mirror
7.) Stuck Livin
8.) Dry Ice
10.) Half Here