Boomkat Product Review:
Sophomore album of wracked, atmospheric, off-centre gloom-pop from Austin, TX trio Pure X. The origins of the album are pretty bleak: core member Nate Grace spent most of 2012 incapacitated by a serious leg injury, without the health insurance or cash needed for surgery, and further crippled by insomnia and anxiety; it was during this time that he percolated ideas for the record. Sounds like a hoot, right? But the result isn't a depressive or desolated work; rather it’s the sound of struggle, of striving to find hope amid hopelessness, beauty in ugliness. There’s a gravity, a profundity, to Crawling Up The Stairs that makes it a completely different beast to the band’s louchely hazy debut, Pleasure: even its most gnomic and abstract songs - check ‘Written In The Slime’, with its mournful vocodered vocal textures and strafing synths - pack a hefty emotional payload. But these expressions of anguish and longing never feel self-indulgent; the songs aren’t allowed to meander, they’re written and performed with remarkable economy, and rendered in arrangements of unfakeable maturity, at once minimalist and fiendishly cmoplex. Their core, classicist set-up of guitar, bass and drums is expanded and emboldened with well-judged flourishes of distortion, electronics and harder-to-classify ambient treatments, at times prompting comparisons to mystically-charged, outsider indie-pop classics by the likes of Peter Jefferies and The Chills.