Quick Review (LP): Headbangers In Ecstasy by Puro Instinct

Puro Instinct
Headbangers in Ecstasy
Mexican Summer; 2011

My Rating: C+ (60/100)

Best Tracks: "Lost At Sea", "Stilyagi", "Luv Goon"

– Sadly short on new material, and the KDOD thing comes off like a record stretcher rather than a clever theme.
– "Lost at Sea" is pretty glorious.
– The vocals are maddeningly over-dense and mumbly, in the vein of Wild Nothing. 
– A nice 80’s sound in places
– "Stilyagi" is a real treat.
– A bit reminiscent of The Smith’s debut, esp. on the front end.
– I can see Puro Instinct being a really great singles band, but for some reason I feel like they will always struggle with the album format.
– "Luv Goon" was better in its EP form, but it still sounds good here.
– "Escape Forever" is the sort of drivel they must avoid if they are going to keep making coolish pop music.
– My message to Puro Instinct: focus on writing dreamy, hyper-melodic pop songs. Retain the playful sense of humor.
Ian Cohen of Pitchfork says: "You can tell by the intentional garishness of that airbrushed cover that Puro Instinct have both the youth and self-awareness for more promising things, but right now Headbangers in Ecstasy is the image’s sonic embodiment: pretty, vacant." I think that’s right. These girls have the potential to pack a lot of punch into 3 minute pop songs, but for the time being, we just need to remember that Skylar, the guitarist, is only 16.

Cohesion (4.5/5)
Consistency (3.5/5)
Consequence (3/5)
Concept (4/5)
Songs (3.5/5)

My review of Something About The Chapparals EP
My review of Puro Instinct EP

Quick Review (EP): Something About the Chaparrals by Pearl Harbour (now Puro Instinct)

Something About the ChaparralsPearl Harbor (aka Puro Instinct)
Something About the Chaparrals EP
Mexican Summer; 2009

My Rating: B

I like these gals; they’ve got a great sense of humor and a funny blog. They use incredibly awesome hyper-slang like “Wuz gawn,” and say that they have things “4 U.” This was their first EP-length release, and it’s halfway superlative. “Sunburn” and “Luv Goon” are phenomenal, but the last two drown in a sunny monsoon of sound. The guitar player is like 14 years old and comes up with great licks now, which means that she has plenty of radical ahead of her. Hope they do something magical on their first full-length still to come. For now, stick with the first half of this record. RiYL: Best Coast, Beach House, Asobi Seksu, leotards and sweatbands.

Listen to “Luv Goon” and buy here
Sample all tracks here
Blog here
Myspace here

Quick Review: Puro Instinct 12″EP by Puro Instinct

s/t Cover ArtPuro Instinct was known as Pearl Harbor until only a few months ago, and under that name they released an excellent 4-songer, Something About The Chaparrals, in 2009. After hearing that release, I was pretty excited for further output from these gals, but this offering misses the mark. It sounds a lot like the current flavor of the day in indie – hazy vocals, echoing lazy day guitars, and mechanical drums – and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. The big problem is that the songs just aren’t up to par; the tracks sound like the toss-offs from the Chaparrals session. Hopefully this is an attempt to clear the decks for a new set of songs and a full-length, but sadly there isn’t much to be recommended here.

Rating: C.

FFO: Real Estate, Best Coast, Still Corners.

Pitchfork track review
Hear the EP
Band’s Myspace site

5 Things: “Luv Goon” by Pearl Harbor

5 things I love about “Luv Goon” by Pearl Harbor…

1) That guitar – it’s the best of Peter Buck, The Edge, and Johnny Marr all rolled into one.
2) The blinding brightness of the song.
3) The siren song vocals – gorgeous, though I can’t understand a word…
4) Except the chorus: “Anything you want me to/I’m your love goon”
5) Gotta say I love that guitar again. Just fabulous!

What about you?