Pure X - Pleasure

After a few tantalising EPs, the Austin band once known as Pure Ecstasy (a name change was enforced by a San Francisco covers group who’d got to the copyright office first) release their debut long-player of heavy-eyelided, soporific soup full of weary, drug-sick vocals, distantly distorted guitars, fuzzy-sticky bass and the simplest of beats, slowly grooving through the haze. Indeed, although the name change wasn’t optional, it was perhaps wise – any association with ecstasy is pretty far wide of the mark; Pure Diazepam would be more apt.

If this doesn’t sound like particularly ground-breaking stuff, that’s because it’s not. ‘Easy’ is jangly C86 pop filtered through the haze of an opiate den like a slowed down My Bloody Valentine, the Jesus & Mary Chain’s brand of tired lullaby looms large over the closing ‘Half There’, and at no point is the album too far from the drained romanticism and fuzz of Spacemen 3.

But for all its direct referencing of the Reid brothers, Kevin Shields and Jason Pierce, and its at-times over-familiar musical palette, ‘Pleasure’ is still an intensely satisfying – and satisfyingly intense – record, with a wonderfully maintained sonic aesthetic that welcomes you in and zones you out with considerable ease.

By Sam Walton

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