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Puro Instinct are a marketing man's dream. Two achingly cool LA sisters, aged 24 and 16, with Ariel Pink on speed dial, who make a hybrid of chillwave and 80s indie with a dash of cheesy sax to keep the yacht-rock brigade on side. It's enough to send the hipster alarm into overdrive - somebody call the style-over-content police!
It's a surprise, and indeed a pleasure, to report that 'Headbangers In Ecstasy' not only works, but contains some great pop moments and a healthy dose of innovation. Recorded on a shoestring with Ariel Pink on knob-twiddling duties, Puro Instinct take dream-pop to a whole new level: listening to 'Headbangers In Ecstasy' feels a little bit like actually being in a dream. Songs drift in and out, sometimes without a defined beginning or end, interspersed with distorted clips of a DJ from fictitious radio station KDOD. Like a dream this album is occasionally brilliant, occasionally lacklustre, occasionally confusing, more than a little surreal and sounds like it could all fall apart at any moment.
At just 16 Skylar Kaplan is a precocious talent, her guitar lines weave their way around the songs, harking back to early Smiths or The Cure. Piper Kaplan's vocals are low in the mix, barely in tune (which is a good thing in this instance) and only decipherable in parts, making the journey even more Kafkaesque, the bass is also buried at the back causing the record to sound rather flimsy, again a good thing here.
For all its mysterious qualities, 'Headbangers In Ecstasy' as a whole is slightly frustrating. There are points which lack direction and towards the end your attention begins to wander; at nearly three quarters of an hour it becomes a bit much. However, this is certainly an album worth investigating and a decent proportion of what's included is quite captivating. 'Stilyagi', 'Lost At Sea' and Escape Forever' are wonderful pop songs and the escapism is refreshing. With time, talent and contacts on their side Puro Instinct's hazy visions may well yield a classic in the future, as it stands, these first steps are more than satisfactory.
05. Lost At Sea - Puro Instinct by Republic of Music
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