Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Puro Instinct - Headbangers In Ecstasy (2011)

The girls of Puro Instinct are two young sisters that dropped out of school to make music; they got into the Shoegaze inspired sounds and (one more line to the tiger) entered the world of Lo-Fi artists; for their first full length, they teamed up with none other than critically acclaimed underground artist Ariel Pink, and that alone created a huge expectation. The bands original name was Pearl Harbor, under that name they released an EP, but when they changed to Puro Instinct some things started to change.

For starters, the sound keeps being very California, a lot of sun and beach and boys and heartache, The difference is that in Pearl Harbor the sounds where clearer, and this time around the message gets lost in too many production tweaks, the voices are unattainable, hidden far away behind reverb and overwhelming bass line, and on top of it the singing is always a little bit out of key, something that did not happen when they where Pearl Harbor. Now is just sloppy and lazy, and it seems on purpose; just not cute like in the Scarlett Johansson cover record of Tom Waits (for example). For this new project they relied on the reverb and the sounds happening and not on the quality of what was coming out. Of course, even this fact doesn’t make the LP a terrible one, just never nails a pretty high up. In the “California Shakedown” track, for sure one of the already known ones of the LP, accompanied with very somber guitar arpeggio, a very protagonist bass and a guitar solo with a very shy singing under that overdone reverb, the song still doesn’t come out with the same freshness as the ones in the Pearl Harbor EP.

For an album called Headbangers In Ecstasy, it comes a moment when the headbanging and the ecstasy just gets lost, the interludes hardly make sense or accomplish the idea of making the album sound like a complete music experience. The songs go from sexy and fun to somber, or overwhelming lost between production tweaks; for example “Lost At Sea” has the beach summer love tune, with a lot of indie pop of the late 80’s and early 90’s musical references singed slightly out of tune, still the naivety of the music reflects a lot of immaturity and stand on the production and not on the quality of the song on its own.

In the somber sides of the LP, when the headbanging and the ecstasy is already lost, great moments appear, but they are not well used, take for example “Escape Forever”, when the use saxophones starts to make the song rather sexy, airy and kind of resembling a wet dreamy, and then you hear chilled guitars on top of dry drums that don’t seem to mix with the rest of the instrumentation at times, the airiness you where feeling just starts to fade away, but still all the variations are interesting and enjoyable, making possible to overlook everything, but the singing is what really kill the song (for me) , once again shy and out of tune voices hidden in the background. If the album was called “Slightly Out Of Tune” everything would have made a lot more sense.

I love the fact that this girls are young and interesting, and are not afraid to embrace psychedelic noise and mixing it with dream pop and indie pop, the idea of not wanting to do a straight forward album and complicate it a little is very respectable. What’s actually good about this album is that it is very South Carolina but didn’t settle to do another Lo-Fi record following the steps of Best Coast, these girls are very promising and I’m sure I’ll be expecting to hear more from them, for a debut of two young high school dropouts they demonstrate that they can do something productive with their time. The LP is not mind-blowing but is pretty descent, not a single song I hated, nor a really solid, excellent one.


1. KDOD 1
2. Everybody's Sick
3. Lost at Sea
4. KDOD 2
5. Silky Eyes
6. Slivers Of You
7. KDOD 3
8. Stilyagi
9. Escape Forever
10. KDOD 4
11. No Mames
12. Vapor Girls
13. California Shakedown
14. KDOD 5
15. Luv Goon

Rate: 6/10

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