The colorfully star-crossed Pains Of Being Pure At Heart made a splash earlier this year with their self-titled debut release. The shoegaze darlings won the hearts of every cute-tune loving eighties child, that is for sure. And their Higher Than The Stars EP
is a continuation of the kinds of tracks that made them a blog favorite. Their self titled debut had a specific aesthetic to it, and their EP is more of an epilogue than a new chapter in the band's discography. So if you are totally into fuzzed-out cries of "don't check me out," (Pains
) and "Don't you don't you touch me" (Stars
), this is your EP.
Granted the Pains have graduated from "don't look at me" to "don't touch me," but the subject matter, sound, and general song structure remain basically the same. The bonus track "Higher Than The Stars" remix done by Saint Etienne however, is something different. Pains would never use bongo drums. But the rhythmic fluctuation of the remix actually capture an essence of the original that was conspicuously missing. I do giggle every time I hear "bumble-fuck" in a song (not sure if that is what they actually say, but it still makes me giggle). But the sincerity wasn't enough to convince the first time around. While the original resolves after every chorus, the deceptive turn after the lyric "higher than the stars" in the remix has that appeal, a sentimentality that pretty much nails what the Pains sound is all about; nostalgic romance, in the form of airy vocals and reverberated heartstrings. From the sound of Stars
as a whole, they will keep tugging. - joe puglisi