written by Chris Familton
Psychedelic guitar rock has been going through yet another goldrush of late with albums by Kurt Vile, Wooden Shjips and the tripped-out sounds of Sun Araw all getting a lot of attention. You can add to that list Pure X (previously Pure Ecstasy) and their debut album Pleasure. Their approach is to take heavy lidded narcotic guitars and marry them with hypnotic pulsing bass-lines and minimal Velvets drumming. The end result is a stunning record that operates in its own slow and nodding time zone
Pleasure sounds like a lo-fi record but it isn’t one in the sense of poor sound quality. They have used amp buzz, ‘in the red’ guitar pedals and heavy doses of reverb to concoct a pervasive vibe that replicates that uber-stoned, late night hazy feel. This might sound like a downer of a listen but it is quite the opposite. The vocal melody on Dream Over is catchy as hell while Twisted Mirror marches through swirling phased and flanged kaleidoscopic guitars, constantly changing and evolving rather than being stuck in repetition. Easy doubles the tempo and sounds strangely euphoric while still locking into the dreamy mood of the record perfectly. Surface steps away from the guitars with a dubbed out organic groove that it is gorgeously immersive and hypnotic.
If you’ve had a thing for Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros or Neil Young then you’ll revel in Pleasure. Totally dismissive of any need to ‘rock out’ it manages to still sound bold and assertive via its cohesive structure and delivery. In the frenetic world of marketing and ease of access to music Pure X are the perfect antidote. It is transportive, beguiling and mysterious yet totally accessible. An absolute pleasure.
this review was first published in The Drum Media