The Pains of Being Pure at Heart — who were named after an unpublished children’s story written by a friend of lead singer Kip Berman — return today with their second full-length, Belong. The record was produced by Flood and mixed by Alan Moulder of Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine fame, respectively.
Title track “Belong” opens the album with 12 seconds of unobtrusive musical pleasantry, followed by an eruption of hard distortion that will encourage immediate air-guitar strummage from anyone who suffered through their teens in the 1990s. Cue Berman’s sexy vocals and some I’m-bored-so-let’s-just-do-it lyrics (“If you’re mine / I don’t mind / we tried another / let’s try each other”) and you have the recipe for a PoBPaH grilled chicken sandwich (but clearly not a PoBPaH coq au vin).
There’s no musical rocket science here. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart simply make music that is easy to listen to: catchy guitar+keyboard melodies, four-by-four bass plucking and drum beating, guy/girl harmonies that make it easy to sing along with your significant other in the car, and lyrics that inspire self-inflicted, diminutive mysterioso (see the lyric “Held my breath / thought of death / and things I’d like to do ’til then” on “Girls of 1000 Dreams”). Continue reading…
San Diego’s Hotel St. George recently premiered the excellent video for their song “Little Children’s Bones.” The video features a robot battling a wizard in Russian roulette, a dog with a cape, and various other serious things. It’s definitely in your best interest to check it out.
To enhance the viewing of their latest musical movie film, band members Matt Binder and Eric Visnyak provided us with their Poetic Memory. Watch the video above, and read their list of influences below. Continue reading…
The last time Ontario, Canada’s The Rest played at the Casbah, we missed it. But we won’t make that mistake again. After all, according to their MySpace page, The Rest like all the things that we like: doing push-ups, shooting each other with water guns, howling at the moon, and delicious Thai food. (More details below.) We have other reasons, too. For one, their new album, Everything All At Once, is amazing. For another, they graciously agreed to write the latest installment of Poetic Memory. Also, they use the word “rascal” in their lyrics.
We’ve featured The Rest on our podcast a few times, but in case you missed it, here are a couple of MP3s. The wondrously haunting “Drinking Again” is definitely one of our favorite songs of 2009. Also, be sure to check out “Everything All At Once“, the epic titular track from their new album.
Poetic Memory is a regular Owl and Bear feature in which musicians disclose their influences—whether it’s albums, songs, artists, or something random. If you’re interested in being featured here, send us an email. Continue reading
It is often said that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. But sometimes it goes the other way, and you don’t know what you’ve been missing until you finally get it. Certain bands strike a chord because they fill a void that the fan hadn’t even realized was there. Whether it be in the form of Fleet Foxes’ ethereal harmonies, Cut Copy’s intense synth-pop, or the Adam-Duritz-on-spin-cycle vocals of Frightened Rabbit, sometimes a band will just feel immediately, intimately familiar. The same sensation can be felt when hearing San Francisco band The New Up — the scratching of an itch you didn’t even know you had.
On their new five song EP, Broken Machine — the first in a series of three EPs by the band set for release over the next year — The New Up bring their moody dance-rock to a boil and keep it there. From the first moments of lead track “Ginger Tea”, the EP oozes smoky atmosphere, as if Metric and My Bloody Valentine had collaborated on the soundtrack to a David Lynch film.