Friday, 19 August 2011

30. Pure X - Pleasure

Remember indie music? Not the shiny britpop bullshit of 'Alright guvnor how's yer tin pan alley' bollocks, but the stuff from before, the proper indie, when 'indie' meant 'independent', not a Paul Weller haircut and a new pair of converse. When a cover of the NME or Melody Maker didn't send you to the top of the charts but guaranteed seventeen paying punters when you played The Falcon. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I'm talking about The Good Old Days, when guitars drowned out vocals and it was for the best because the singer couldn't really sing anyway. And who wants a singer who can sing? That way leads to Mick Hucknall, Celine Dion and eventually Leona Lewis (not to mention Fleet bastard can we fit another harmony in here Foxes). I'm talking about music that was recorded for seventy five quid in the back of a laundrette, and sounded like it, but simultaneously filled your pathetic, moping teenage heart until it almost burst. Dirty, scruffy, romantic music that didn't ever think about its midweek chart position because that could never happen to an indie band. In fact, it so obviously couldn't happen, indie music had its own chart. I remember getting a lift off my cousin when I was sixteen, and he told me his mate was in a band and their ep had gone into the indie charts at number seven. That to me then, and if I'm honest, even now a little bit, seemed the most extraordinary thing that could ever happen to a man. Fuck walking on the moon, if I was ever in a band that debuted at number seven in the indie charts my life would surely be complete for ever.

I mean this from the bottom of my massively impressed sixteen year old heart - Pure X sound like they would debut at number seven in the indie charts. Scruffy, fuzzy, sweet and sometimes angry guitars roam, vocals are buried in there somewhere, wrapped in reverb, the words hidden amongst the noise, drums lazily thump, just about in time, and a rumbling bass spills out of a distorting amp. To be specific they sound like a cross between The Jesus and Mary Chain and Mazzy Star, the perfect down-at-heel indie guitar band then. They don't do anything as uncouth as writing tunes as such, they're too good/cool for that, leave that to the chart wannabes, but clearly a lot of care has gone into the recording of the album. The guitaring particularly is wonderful - at times dopey and docile and then a sudden switch, and it feels like someone is poking your brain with a knitting needle. If you want an instant pop hit you will have to look elsewhere, but if you want an album that a 1992 Melody Maker review would probably call: dreamy and dozily hypnotic - it will stone you to your soul - this is the album for you.


  1. Every Saturday morning, I would watch The Chart Show on ITV. Towards the end of the programme, they would do a chart other than the overall chart. One week it would be indie, the next it would be dance. Sometimes it would be rock.

    In my early teens, I didn't know what indie was and I didn't really learn either. It sounded a bit like 'Indian', so that was what I thought it was.

    When The Chart Show graphics indicated that it was going to be the indie chart that particular week, I would internally groan, because I'm a massive racist and I didn't want any of that foreign music. I would then love each of the next ten songs, but would somehow forget that this was the indie chart.

    A few weeks later, The Chart Show graphics would signify it was the turn of the indie chart and I would internally groan.

  2. In other news, all this talk of insignificant indie music reminded me of going to see Orange Deluxe at Winnington Rec.

    To my delight, several of their tracks are on YouTube. There are no videos, obviously. Instead, they display the single/album covers and these are so familiar to me, it's like looking at an old photograph of myself.

    I swear to God, I have never heard any one of these songs before in my life.