Purity Ring – Shrines
By Jack Daniel Betz
When I saw Gobble Gobble open for Baths last year, I thought they were going places. Home-made electronic percussion, day-glo synth-pop, and intensely interactive shows, how could you not draw positive attention even in this age of increasingly histrionic musicians? Well, I’ve heard little from Gobble Gobble since then but two of its members are making music headlines with their gothic trip-hop side-project: Purity Ring.
I’d heard about their music from friends who’d seen them open for Neon Indian, but after being unable to find any of their songs online I just kind of forgot about them. Well their debut “Shrines” came out on the 24th of July, and it’s receiving 9s and 10s from critics everywhere (and an 8 from Pitchfork, which is almost better than a 9 or a 10 anywhere else).
I was nearly as enthusiastic when I first blasted “Crawlersout” through the speakers of my car (windows up). Throbbing bass, break-beat down tempos, castanet-timbered hi-hat rhythms over saccharine-sweet female lyricists; add bassy chopped and screwed backup vocals. However, as the album drew on it became clear to me that this had already been done before, stylistically anyway. It’s called SALEM. And this is not as much of a dig as it sounds like.
I really enjoy the music, but since I know about the witch-house (invoking that pseudo-genre with tongue firmly planted in cheek) darlings SALEM, it doesn’t pose as much of a paradigm-shift. Zola Jesus and Picture-Plane have also already charted this territory. Although, the sweet, almost bubble-gum vocals does bring something to the table that none of Purity Ring’s predecessors have. Good stuff, just not as earth-shatteringly clever as some people might think. I definitely will try my hardest to attend a show the next opportunity I get.
Entry points: “Crawlersout,” “Shuck,” “Amenamy,” “Fineshrine”