Friday, 21st September 2018. 11:39:14am ET


ARTIST: Purr Machine
ALBUM: Starry
LABEL: No Bliss Lost Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 10-27-07

Purr Machine- Starry

Purr Machine's long-awaited third album comes off like Curve at first; the hard breakbeats and slashing loops of "Get Close" has the techno-rock sensibility of Curve's final album, while the fuzzy vocal effects and twanging psychedelic guitars of "Sad I'm Gone" are like Curve's earlier material. Where Curve were consistent in their mix of dance floor sensuality and shoegaze experimentalism, however, this album just gets wilder and crazier the farther you go into it. "Monkey Dreams" is pretty enough with its mellow guitar solos, and "Keep Me in Mind" offers a lovely sense of wistfulness by contrasting majestic strings with cheerful pop keyboards, but by title track "Starry," the album's half-way point, things start to drift away from clever but conventional pop. "Starry" itself is light as helium, with singer Betsy Martin's slightly smoky voice panning across the channels like a dream while airy blips threaten to leave earth's atmosphere entirely. "Choose Your Fire" is dark and intense, guitars ragged with the buzz of multiple distortion and overdrive pedals, the drums of guest player Chris Vrenna (of Nine Inch Nails and Tweaker fame) driving things along with nervous aggression. "The Warning" is gothic trip-hop at its best, the bass swollen to bursting and the guitars, played here by Mercurine's Byron Brown, heavy enough to hurt and slow enough to make you like it. "Not Any More" is at once melodic and abrasive, with tons of squealing feedback juxtaposed with slick pop vocals. By the end, the multiple layers of electronics and guitar effects are almost dizzying, but thankfully closing track "Sister" brings things back down to earth. With Martin's voice is at its most delicate, hovering above a muted trip-hop rhythm and the finger-picked guitars of Alex Gordon and William Faith, it's like a less saccharine Hungry Lucy: just light and soft enough to let you down gently without leaving an aftertaste. It's a perfect end to a marvelous album that's sure to appeal to fans of the noisy but melodic art-rock of groups like Medicine and Catherine Wheel.

Visit Purr Machine online www.purrmachine.com.


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