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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Purrs
The Purrs
Sarathan

Rating: 7/10 ?


September 22, 2006
"Have wah-wah pedal, will travel" is the creed The Purrs live by. Going through the past, darkly and with a bit of a swagger, on their self-titled debut, the Seattle band gives the effect a workout in "She's Gone." Not bitter or anything, Jima of The Purrs speaks not at all well of the woman who left him in "She's Gone," describing her as " ... the spit in my drink" to a swinging 60s psychedelic garage-rock groove. Now, they don't give out Mercury Prizes for one-line disses like that, but that's one's as good as it gets.

But wait, it gets better. In "Don't Stop Kicking Me Down," Jima, playing the role of class warrior, breaks down the difference between himself and the rich. It's as simple as this: "Now, assholes live in castles and maggots live in my brain" - that ought to be spray-painted on a wall somewhere. Given a cat-scan, doctors might find maggots living in Anton Newcombe's brain too, which would explain a lot. Newcombe, the cracked leader of indie-rock's Manson family, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Purrs have a lot in common, including a weakness for the Velvet Underground, dream-pop, autumnal tones, pop that jangles like that of The Byrds, and 80s shoegazers like My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver.

On their self-titled debut, The Purrs retrace their roots and wind up at Spahn Ranch, falling down the rabbit hole past Galaxie 500, past The Church, until they snag their black sweaters on the rock of The Creation and The Rolling Stones. Strong guitar riffs and dark, drugged-out pop sentiments mark this self-titled release, highlighted by the Velvet Underground-inspired, spaghetti Western treatment of "The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of." More grounded is the solid rocker "Loose Talk," with its easy guitar jangle, "Sha la la la" backing vocals and small town-as-"ticking time bomb" lyrics, while "Connect The Dots" has a shooting-star backdrop and a paisley, acid-laced groove that can delight or bore, depending on your mood.

That tendency toward lazy, drifting tempos works against The Purrs in the long, drawn-out flight of "Ebb & Flow." A star-kissed melody isn't enough to drag this one across the heavens. It falls to earth in a heap of unrealized potential. In danger of falling apart, The Purrs pull it together for the stretch run, with the whimsical black celebration of "Because I Want To" and the desert howl of the starry "Taste Of Monday" mining lost grooves Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has never found. The slow, pretty drawl of the closer, "Don't Stop Kicking Me Down," is more proof of The Purrs' ability to bend dreamy, shoegazer textures and psychedelic wanderings to their hypnotic will.

The Purrs do seem to be trapped in a sound not of their own making, even if they do break out occasionally. This is the Brian Jonestown Massacre's music, and even they can be slaves to their influences. So what you have here is a forgery of a forgery. Admire it for its melodic artistry, but don't try to cash it.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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