Friday, June 11, 2010

Spiral and Unfurl




Their sixth release, Tearing Down Paisley Garden,
represents another solid effort from this Seattle quartet. De-
spite the title, it sounds more like the Purrs are cultivating
the same sonic plot they first laid down in 2006 (think Rain
Parade and the Church). Back then, I noted that they pro-
duce "a nice strong dose of psych-pop" with "languid num-
bers" that "spiral and unfurl into the air like smoke."

Four years later, their formula remains much the same. There's
nothing wrong with that; if you liked it then, you'll like it now.

And maybe it's partly because the Rolling Stones are all over the
place again, what with the reissue of Exile on Main Street, but Jima
sounds more like Mick Jagger than ever before, something I mis-
sed in the past, helping to set this EP apart from previous output.

Also, they do such a good job at blending these songs together
and putting their own stamp on them that I didn't recognize "Only
Dreaming" (Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry) and "I Move Around" (Lee
) as covers, though I wasn't familiar with either track.

Click here for Amused, Confused, & More Bad News.

Will Knox, The Matador & the Acrobat, self-released [6/15/10]

Born and raised in London, Will Knox lives in New York, but
plies a particularly British brand of folk-pop, adding boisterous
violin, stately bass, and sprightly banjo to his acoustic melodies
while singing with a pronounced accent. It's ironic, since lyrics
like "The Manhattan morning has come to life" clearly reflect
his current surroundings. A fine Anglo-American hybrid.

Click here for "Buckled Knees."

Pernice Brothers, Goodby, Killer, Ashmont Records [6/15/10]

The last time I listened to a Joe Pernice project all the way
through, the Boston-based author-musician was heading the
Scud Mountain Boys. Since then, he formed the Pernice
, released 13 albums, appeared on The Gilmore
, and issued a well received 33-1/3 entry on Meat Is
(his brother, Bob, has been a frequent collaborator).

Through the varied assemblages, his soft-spoken voice re-
mains a constant, vaguely reminiscent of American Music
Club's Mark Eitzel and the Jayhawks' Mark Olson. Like those
gents, he sings without a twang, but weaves country and folk
touches throughout his literate concoctions. Near as I can tell,
Goodbye, Killer rocks harder than before, with hand claps,
nods to famous novelists, and occasional bursts of feedback.

Click here for "Jacqueline Susann."

Richard Walters, The Animal, Kartel [7/6/10]

The cable-laden cover of The Animal indicates something loud-
er and stranger than what this Oxford-born singer/songwriter de-
livers. Instead of electronica or techno, Richard Walters plays
a plaintive brand of acoustic pop with daubs of cello and piano. It
all seems vaguely familiar, yet without bringing any specific acts
to mind. When he sings "There's a hole in your head" and "Don't
hide my medicine" he could be referring to a recent diagnosis of
epilepsy. Or something else entirely. Now situated in Paris, Wal-
ters' lyrical ambiguity allows for a variety of interpretations.

Click here for "Brittle Bones."

Endnote: For more information about Will Knox, please
click here or here; for the Pernice Brothers, here or here;
for the Purrs, here or here; and for Richard Walters,
here or here. Lovely Purrs image from the finest kiss.

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