The Pains of Being Pure at Heart had quite a run over the last eighteen months. They released their self-titled debut in February 2009 to universal acclaim, racking up features in magazines like Spin, Rolling Stone and NME, earning Best New Music status from Pitchfork, and touring the US and Europe non-stop. They began 2010 with a month-long tour of Japan, New Zealand and Australia, and are wrapping it up with a series of West Coast dates with labelmates Weekend and a sure-to-be-triumphant return to England. All the while they've been working on new songs, releasing the excellent single Say No to Love in June and beginning work on their eagerly anticipated second album. To help bring this new batch of tunes to life they enlisted the help of producer Flood (Smashing Pumpkins, U2, PJ Harvey) and ace mixer Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Arctic Monkeys). This massive sounding album is sonically ambitious but still grounded in the peerless song-craft for which the Pains are known and revered. "Heart in Your Heartbreak," the first preview from the new album, is a perfect snapshot of where Pains are headed in 2011: an infectious slice of chunky power-pop with a great beat, sweeping synths and well-placed guitar jangle. It's immediately obvious that the new production team has brought out the best in the band. Pure Pains all the way, but bolder, louder and more confident. On the flip, non-LP track "The One" is a classic-sounding rocker that would sit just fine next to Teenage Fanclub on any well compiled mix tape. All in all a superb single and a great taster for that second album, due for release in February 2011.
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