Bittersweet twee misfits still going strong.
The Pains have their tried and tested formula down to a tee, somewhere between razor-sharp new wave punk and dreamy indiepop, and lucky for them it has yet to lose its charm. “Say No to Love” is punchy yet blissful, like the Smiths on a Sunday morning, rolling over to kiss My Bloody Valentine good morning. It’s another benchmark single from a terrific band, but what really needs to be commended here is, surprisingly, its B-side. “Lost Saint” is as blissed out as it gets: melodically stunning, poignantly bittersweet, like watching a sunset on a hilltop as glockenspiels comfort and thoughtfully strummed guitars provide warmth. Pains once again raise the margin for all the wannabe new wavers, and raise expectations for their second record even higher.