Two CDs for £9 or MP3 for £3.99
*Buy this CD with another eligible title and pay no more than £9 for both (terms and conditions apply). Just look for any album with this message, put it in your basket with a second eligible title and the discount will be applied at checkout. Offer ends June 30, 2013.
|2. Heaven's Gonne Happen Now|
|3. Heart In Your Heartbreak|
|4. The Body|
|5. Anne With An E|
|6. Even In Dreams|
|7. My Terrible Friend|
|8. Girl of 1,000 Dreams|
|9. Too Tough|
In particular, late-80s/early-90s bands The Primitives and the Crash Test Dummies’ sunny pop sound is mined to the effect of creating records, like their 2009 self-titled debut, that are as nostalgic as an old college sweater. But where they stray ever so slightly from the honey-sweet sound, we get a taster of a band that sounds exciting, if not exactly revolutionary. On the title-track opener what sounds like a tribute to the gentle balladeers Keane gets ripped apart by a grungey guitar, which suggests that Pains… are 80s fans whose record collection extends beyond feel-good movie soundtracks.
But from the hushed, harmonic boy/girl vocals to the big choruses, their sophomore effort doesn’t stray beyond the college radio sound of their debut; in many ways, it has less variation in its template, with fewer experiments with heavy or distorted guitars. The difference, however, is that their debut seemed to be pinning all of its hopes on its singles – plus the band’s best song to date, Contender, which was mysteriously never released as a single – becoming a smash as big as The Primitives’ Crash or the Violent Femmes’ Blister in the Sun. But Belong, while certainly not having anything that sounds like it could be such a big hit, has the consistency to keep you interested after track number four due to the quality of songwriting, if not the variation in sound.
Who knows, maybe there is a film director working on a genre piece inspired by Dumb and Dumber, and is looking for a contemporary band to launch into the mainstream with their soundtrack. If they are, there is only one place to look.
--Lewis G. Parker
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