February 3, 2011

Song Review: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart's "Belong"

NYC nu-gaze outfit, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, are just over a month shy away from releasing their highly anticipated sophomore effort, Belong. Our first impression was last year's single, "Heart In Your Heartbreak," where admittedly not much had changed with the band but it was still consistently on par with everything else The Pains have written. We now have another single to give us another taste of what to expect come March, and it's the album's title track. More so than "Heart In the Heartbreak," "Belong" reaps the benefits of The Pains teaming up with '90s alternative powerhouse producer / mixer duo, Flood and Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins.) The two haven't really changed the way the indie pop quartet play music but definitely have made some profound adjustments to the way their fuzzy brand of noise pop comes across. Fans of Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins will appreciate how The Pains's fleeting distortion pedals have been layered on thick and heavy, crunching loud decibels in between Kip Berman's soft, dreamy vocals and the track's ethereal chorus. The 2:35 mark even brings in a jagged-edged guitar breakdown that takes "Belong" (and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart) to a whole new level. The band said they didn't want Flood to make them "sound like a 'big' rock band," but as far as singles go, "Belong" matches the 120 Minutes era's most memorable hits.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - "Belong"

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