Puro Instinct - Headbangers in Ecstasy - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Puro Instinct - Headbangers in Ecstasy

by Rich Morris Rating:5 Release Date:2011-02-22

Don't be fooled by the title - only the desperate would try head-banging to this. Puro Instinct (aka sisters Piper and Skylar Kaplan) are instead providing yet another opportunity to play an imaginary John Hughes film in your head, and accordingly, their album takes its cues from Martha and the Muffins and The Bangles, with a little mid-80s psych-pop Siouxsie thrown in. Tracks like 'Luv Goon' and 'No Mames' invite you to skip and jump in that quintessentially 80s way, while 'Vapor Girls' and 'California Shakedown' have more of a dream pop feel about them, with wispy guitars and haunted vocals which mean you can slot these guys nicely next to Warpaint or even Beach House.

So Headbangers in Ecstasy is a good example of what used to get called a college rock. Tracks such as the lovely 'Lost at Sea' and opening track 'Everybody's Sick' do well to locate a middle distance between early R.E.M. and The Go-Go's. There is, however, a dearth of memorable tunes to make the jangling guitar melodies and fluffy cloud vocals stick. What Headbangers in Ecstasy needs is a killer song to hang the rest around. Unfortunately, although the album improves as it progresses, slightly drippy tracks like 'Silky Eyes' and 'Stilyagi', sounding like a lacklustre slumber party sing-along, mean that the possibility of hearing something exceptional fades into the horizon.

Perhaps this explains the four tracks of radio interference and announcements. It serves to set the album apart a little, but the overall impression is of a terribly fey, milky-skinned C86 band having a go at covering some Cyndi Lauper pop gems and not quite pulling it off.

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