The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (Slumberland Records)

This four-piece are being touted by some as “the next big thing”. If you’re familiar with the C86 scene (mid-’80s ramshackle UK indie) then you’ll get where they’re coming from, but they clean up some of the amateurism with a polished sound that fits well with the current crop of indie-rock chart-climbers. They may use some the same buzzing guitar sounds as The Jesus and Mary Chain, but they don’t engage in “sonic terrorism” like A Place To Bury Strangers. Instead, they concentrate on breezy melodies and temper their noise with bits of Vaselines and Belle and Sebastian-styled “cuteness”. It works pretty well, as the ten songs on their debut album are all enjoyable, but they’re also a bit faceless with an indifferent production that doesn’t do them any favors. I’ll take it, and I’ll look forward to hearing The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart grow, but I would feel better about this album if it had at least one killer song that stood out from the rest of the very good ones.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (Painbow Records)

This cumbersomely-named group are hopelessly hooked on the moody jangle and shambolic pop of mid-1980s UK indie-rock. I’m not sure how a group of New Yorkers decided to attempt recreating the sound of The Pastels, The Vaselines, early Primal Scream, and Darklands-era Jesus and Mary Chain, but their debut EP’s five tracks have that era’s sound down to a “t”. There’s wispy vocals buried in reverb, noisy guitars, simple drumming that could have just as easily been done with a machine as a human, Spector-esque melodies…basically everything you’d expect to hear based on their influences. Perhaps they take their influences a step too far when they a) name a song (“This Love Is Fucking Right!”) after a Field Mice song (“This Love Is Wrong”) and b) completely steal the drums from The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Never Understand” for “Orchard Of My Eye”, but all is forgiven thanks to EP’s eponymous closing track, an instantly catchy tune which shows they can be more than just the sum of their influences.