[18 July 2013]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
I don’t usually get to call on the opinions of my pet Calico cat (with one extra digit on each of her front paws – it’s cute!) named Dot, but given that I have to review a band called the Purrs, I thought it would now be appropriate to gather her thoughts on their seventh and latest album, The Boy With Astronaut Eyes. So, Dot, what do you think about this band that’s from Seattle, has very little to do with grunge, and actually sounds like a psych-rock indie cross between the Dream Syndicate and a power poppy Teenage Fanclub? Her response? “Meow!” Dot, can you dig that the band has a lead singer who sounds as though he has a pronounced English accent, making you think that the record has an otherworldly quality to it? Says Dot, “Meow-rrr-agh-rog!” Dot, can you dig the almost Guided by Voices jingle-jangle of “You, The Medicine and Me”, with its invigorating male and female call and response vocals? “Mew Mew Mew!”
See, my cat is pretty smart, as you can tell. Even though she’s an animal, even she can get into the pure sonic bliss that is The Boy With Astronaut Eyes, which is also notable for, aside from the musical references and guideposts outlined above, being a little tad on the shoegazery side with its use of garish sound effects. Alas, the one and only truly duff track out of the 10 songs here is the noisy “Cemetery Johnny”, which, being almost two and a half minutes long, feels like filler and could have been easily cut. But, boys and girls, that’s just one song out of 10! The rest is pretty top drawer, though my absolute favourite is the aforementioned “You, The Medicine and Me”, which is groovily psychedelic. The Boy With Astronaut Eyes is sky-high, a towering achievement of groovatucular songs, and it will leave you noting that to err is human, but to Purr is feline. So, Dot, what do you think of all this? (I’ll give my erudite cat the final word here.) Well, says Dot, “Me-ow-ow-rrrrruh-ruh!” Wise cat.