Album Review: Pure X – Angel

Noise-rock band Pure X from Austin kicks off their North American tour  in time for the release of their newest album Angel on April 1st from Fat Possum Records. They will be opening up for Real Estate this Thursday April 3rd at Union Transfer in Philly with Francisco Franco. Their two shows in New York are sold out, so check them out in Philadelphia while you can.

Composed of guitarist and vocalist Nate Grace, bassist Jesse Jenkins, and drummer Austin Youngblood, Pure X collaborated with many talents for the making of their newest album. The album starts with intensely euphoric “Starlight,” made up by layers of delicate vocals and heavenly sounds. The feeling the guitar distortion gives off blended with the vocals is celestial and I imagine the sky lighting up with colors, like aurora borealis.

What I dislike about some noise or experimental bands is that they get so wild with the distortion of sounds that I completely lose the words in the chaos. With Pure X, Nate Grace holds a clear voice and impressively sings high with airiness, but still remains comprehensible. In “Fly Away With Me Woman,” the high notes seem to take you higher as you fly into the sky. This song provokes wanderlust (“there is no reason to stay where we are/ Living with so many city people”) and is one that adds positivity to the album.

The vocals in “Heaven” reminded me of Thomas Mars of Phoenix. The music is more alternative rock on this track, with less ambient noise. It’s a pleasantly surprising change, although it gradually adds in more ethereality towards the end of the song. It’s probably a double meaning as the biblical Heaven and the sky because heaven is described as “a feeling/ one that I could believe in” and with the euphoric ending to the song suggesting arrival at the gates. In “Rain,” the distortion creates interesting pitter-patter which sounds like raindrops. It gives it a soundtrack feel without it feeling cheesy by progressively lessening the distortion.

I enjoyed that imagery is used effectively throughout the album in the title and the mood. Many songs on the album inspire looking up at the sky, brining a hint of positivity to everything. This album is cohesive, in the ideas within the songs and the movement from song to song. Title track “Angel” encompasses the dreamy feel of the entire album. It starts off with a repetitive, simple, guitar melody with vocals used sparingly on top of the instrumentals as if angels were whispering.

Follow Pure X on Facebook to keep up with their upcoming shows. You can still buy tickets here for a night of fun at Union Transfer. Combined with the mellow rock of Real Estate, the Thursday night will be filled with good music, good vibes, and fun without the concert hangover for work or school on Friday. Union Transfer is accessible by Septa by taking the Broad Street Line to Spring Garden or by a few other bus routes.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Pure X Entrance Union Transfer - Rock On Philly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *