If there were ever an album for a rainy day, then Pure X has built the perfect prototype with their LP, Pleasure. They even agree with this sentiment. As bassist Jesse Jenkins said in an interview with Dummy, their sound can be described as “40 degrees + raining + out of coffee + out of cash.”
Truer words could not be spoken of this release. The members of Pure X are either self aware or trying to cut out the middle man of the music critic. Pleasure is a soundtrack to a specific mindset, one of trying to collect your thoughts like grasping at marbles on a giant spider web.
The trio from Austin, TX has created ten tracks all with a common them and sound. Each song features reverb-filled guitars; diminished drums and bass; and vocals from Nate Grace that sound like they were sung through a flange in a cabin built in a cave, submerged underwater and then recorded on a wax cylinder. Funny thing is it works for this album. Again, when you are listening to an album during a rainy afternoon during the dark tea-time of the soul, sharp vocals and over-produced music don’t always go over well.
Pure X strayed as far as they could from weighing their album down with production value. The songs were recorded live in the studio and the band avoided any overdubs – meaning that any mistakes during the recording process were left in and not corrected with Garage Band or Auto Tune. There are plenty of effects used, such as the aforementioned reverb, that cultivate a soupy feeling amidst the fuzzy guitars. Most people would stray from fuzzy soup, but that would be a bad choice here.
Pleasure is not meant for mass consumption, nor heavy rotation, unless the listener is wallowing in the self-doubt that comes from a breakup, an empty bank account, or weather people in the Pacific Northwest would call “normal.” But it is a fun, hazy sound that invokes pleasant memories of bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr. It is a great album to have around, you know, just in case you need it.