To hear The Pains of Being Pure at Heart for the first time, you would not be off base to think you were hearing a band from the mid ‘90s. That’s because, since the release of their 2009 full-length, self-titled LP, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have followed nearly the same template.
Originally debuting as an indie noise rock band complete with all the fixings (fuzzy guitars, trebly vocals and melancholy lyrics), the early comparisons to such ‘90s bands as Ride, Black Tambourine, and Peter Bjorn and John were an easy leap to make. On their superb 2011 follow-up, Belong, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart teamed with super-producer duo Flood and Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, U2, Depeche Mode and PJ Harvey) to take their sound to a whole different level, this time garnering comparisons to legends such as My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins and Slowdive.
Now, in 2014, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are releasing their third full-length album, Days of Abandon, on May 13, and as luck just so happens, they will be playing Portland the week before on Sunday, May 4. Another stroke of luck is that in today’s hyperspeed music cycle, where bands are forgotten as easily as they are discovered, the three-year hiatus since Belong may have been just enough time for Pitchfork-led connaisseurs to drop their guard and become distracted by last week’s “best new music.” If that’s the case, then you’ll have just enough time to catch an excellent band for only $12 at the intimate Holocene—right before Pitchfork graces their most recent effort with another top review and the rest of their tour sells out.
If you make it to the show early, you will be treated to dreamy British shoegazers Fear of Men. Led by the Victoria Legrand-esque vocals of Jessica Weiss and backed by the guitar of Daniel Falvey, the band recently released their full-length debut Loom.