Fledgling Australian band Pure Moods will not be setting the world alight any time soon with this, their piffling debut platter of pallid guitar pop. They probably have enough of a fight on their hands simply overcoming the popular new age compilation series of the same name on the first two pages of Google Search. Their penchant for pallid, piffling guitar pop is still perfectly pleasant however and is ladled with hints of promise.
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The Pure Mooders are a trio who hail from Melbourne and they set up like a twee-pop Nirvana that tranquilizes instead of terrorises. Shabbily tuneful vocals are gunged with gimp, grimy guitar made all the more groggy by chorus pedal that cloaks like a clammy chloroform mist. It sometimes gathers into more full-blooded pop-rock but normally it is content to wallow in a peaceful, de-energising state. Peter Hook-inspired basslines occasionally push to the fore and the sound gains an early New Order complexion, like on the fillerish ‘Untitled’ or sections of ‘Meadow Heights’.
The band scrape together 8 actual songs in total, nearly all of a lulling, lightweight persuasion, and they range from jaunty and jaded, playful and pensive, often at once. Opener ‘Nicky’ beckons the listener into instant torpor with the toxifying twangs of tinny tremolo and it trudges on dingily till closing. The bright, bouncy ‘Blurb’ adds back immediate buoyancy to the proceedings. Its chirpy, carefree vocals harken back to Kevin Shields pre-Loveless days. ‘Elisa Lam’, written for a 21 year old holiday maker found dead in a water tank at an LA hotel, is easily the strongest, most resonant cut on the album. A slow, sorrowful intro saddles into saddened verses that retain a bit of cuteness in the face of morbid subject matter and the song surges towards to a powerful finale with a sighing wordless refrain weaving in and out to very wonderful effect.
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The album is fairly plush throughout although it comes with padding and some patches do shine brighter than others. ‘Paloma’s Song’ is a real pearl with a classy, laidback vibe and punchy, pristine guitar work that recalls recent Ducktails. The other remaining tracks tend to be quite drab and downbeat. ‘From My Pocket’ unfurls dispiritedly with forlorn abandon. ‘Dolphin Quest’ features a frolicsome new age intro but the song itself drifts away with dim despondency till its crying, crestfallen climax. ‘Open Book’ hangs onto listless white reggae chords like a depressed Andy Summers but it sparks into life in the final minute in a manner rarely heard in the preceding 40. With minimal resources, Pure Moods paint a murkily mellifluous dream-pop portrait that packs plenty of pleasing highlights amid the lulled lethargizing of it all and, in spite of the limited sonic palette, makes a good showcase for their potential.