[3 January 2008]
Dirty on Purpose’s new EP offers more of the same drudge-pulled but appealing shoegaze pop that they’ve been writing for a few years now. Causing a minor ripple with “Light Pollution” and their debut Hallelujah Sirens, the band garnered a PLUG nomination last year… but in the fickle world of the eternal turnover the memory has faded. Well, the Like Bees EP may re-spark some of that interest. The respun, low-fi version of Smashing Pumpkins’ style alternative rock is somewhat in vogue now, this sense of muscle restrained and dampened by some greater force—the whole recording process, perhaps. The only really new track here, incidentally, is the closing one, an epic instrumental number that’s a comforting glimpse that the group’s future is well assured. The female backing vocals here add a great deal of character, especially on “Like Bees”, a nuanced, swelling piece that is entirely compelling. The EP overall is something of a grab-bag (a b-side here, a cover version there) and lacks the focus of a full length. But it’s enough to keep our appetite whetted for the sophomore album.