Sometimes you worry about new bands becoming too big, too quickly, but that hasn't ever been an issue with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Progressing from a series of hot 7″ singles to a cool exploratory EP to an excellent debut album, their latest effort is not more of the same but a true next step. I interviewed the dreamy New York City indie-pop band for Giant Robot 61 way back in 2009 after they sound checked at The Echo. We walked down to the nearby park, got some Mexican ices from a cart vendor, chatted for a while, and took pictures with my friend/photo ace Ben Clark. They delivered the goods in person and on stage, and I can't wait to see them again playing their great new tunes (especially if it's somewhere smaller than Coachella.) As for Lecherous Gaze, I was blown away by Annihilation Time's third and final album, and was stoked to discover a new offering from some of its core members. Check them out. They'll rip you a new one, and you'll thank them afterward. Both releases come out on March 29–plenty of time to case them out online and then purchase them at your favorite local vinyl outlet next week. Even better, buy them from the bands themselves at a show.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
The Pains' new songs are as humble and catchy as ever but boast a crisper, heavier sound, which isn't hurt by the big-time Brit pop production team of Flood and Alan Moulder. There's nothing cute, quaint, or half-ass about its second LP's bold mix, which seems right for a group that has grown out of its DIY roots and has become as big as many of the the classic new wave and misfit indie bands that it cites as influences. Possibly as big as Teenage Fanclub ever got yet nowhere near New Order at its peak, they balance somber lyrics with exuberant keyboards, jangly guitars with fuzzed-out bass, and remain as honest and exposed as can be on the other side of world-class knob tuning. “Sadness hurts, and that's okay,” one song goes, and that's especially true when it sounds as gorgeous, lush, and realized as this. [Slumberland]
Lecherous Gaze – S/T
The musical wrecking crew from Annihilation Time is carrying on with a new singer,