The Pains of Being Pure At Heart: “Heart In Your Heartbreak”
The quartet of twentysomethings that make up the Pains of Being Pure At Heart might not be old enough to remember the alt-rock boom of the ’90s, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. The New York group burst onto the scene with 2009′s self-titled debut, taking the fuzziness of shoegaze and giving it a pop sweetness. Belong, their just-released sophomore album, finds a group willing to branch out and try new things.
The Pains linked up with Flood and Alan Moulder, arguably the biggest producers of alt-rock’s heyday, with such luminaries as Smashing Pumpkins, U2, and Nine Inch Nails peppering their lofty resumes. The one thread running through all of those bands is bigness: there’s no subtlety when you’re trying to reach for the sky with every hook. Likewise, on Belong the group gently drops the insular nature of their first release in favor of propulsive verses that make a beeline for every huge chorus. Lead singer Kip Berman has morphed into a confident frontman, brimming with energy and a strong voice.
Recently, the Pains stopped by KUT’s Studio 1A for a live session. They played a number of songs from the new album including the infectious “Heart In Your Heartbreak.” The guitars are ragged enough to please old Smashing Pumpkins fans, but the group is careful not to let them obscure the hook.