The Squeezebox: The Pains of being Pure at heart- Belong (2011)

29 03 2011

I admit, I went into listening Belong a little hesitant. It’s not that I didn’t like their 2009 Self titled debut. there were some great  songs on there, but tPoBPaT (what a crappy Acronym to type) was made a little uneven for me by a bit too much sugary preciousness that ran rampant throughout the album: Pretty but a little fluffy, with little strength behind it to cement in my mind or punch that particular chorus home. On their sophomore release Belong, They fix all the complaints I had with their sound and more.

Still mining Nostalgic Indie Pop Nuggets of Yester-Year, This album adds some new-found muscle to their Songs. The guitars are Heavier and more aggressive, the songs structures more creative and accomplished, and the production is boosted to a little higher fidelity  so the album feels less like a wispy 80s demo tape. It sounds like a big shift to avoid the second album curse, but they come out on the other side sounding like an  engaging and confident group. At its heart, it’s still a pop album; no amount of crunchy of guitars can take that away; gorgeous Pop songs about young love and looking back on your high school days. Packed with Melodies so addictive and catchy, you’ll swear you knew the words all along -like a lost song trapped in your memory. This new Punch to their sound has made me really reconsider Pains… They seem to be growing up a bit despite their nostalgic outlook:  from a wide-eyed group of lo-fi revivalists to a great Indie Rock Band that write undeniable pop songs.

82/100

Belong is now streaming for free on the band’s website. Neat-o

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