Former busker records album; still sounds a lot like a busker.
Minneapolis-based Nice Purse specializes in guitar-driven, rough-edged pop songs powered by the ragged vocals and acoustic strumming of ex-busker France Camp. It's a pity the band saved the best song on their debut album for last -- "Panther Like Me" is built around a compelling melody, with a simple chugging rhythm well-suited to the band's low-fi arrangements (and, it must be said, limited musical chops). To get there, though, the listener needs to wade through a lot of same-sounding tunes. Some, like opener "Heart Medley", tease something compelling from their decided un-slickness. Elsewhere, the songs bleed into each other, with simple guitar strumming/bashing and strident arrangements standing in for anything more substantial. That said, the bluesy coda on the tail end of "Blacker Water" is mighty fun. Too bad there aren't more such unexpected change-ups.