Fireworks. Belong is one of those albums that I knew in the first ten seconds I was going to wear out. The entire aesthetic takes me to a different place: a place of night-time grogginess, good times with friends and warm summer evenings. I got the same feeling from this album that I got from Silversun Pickups’ Carnavas. It shares the same pounding, tight rhythm section and heavily distorted guitar contrasted with soft, soothing vocals and a brilliant wall of sound.
Belong shares some of the same mixing production team with Jesus and Mary Chain and The Smashing Pumpkins, which makes perfect sense. “Tell me again what the body’s for, ‘cause I can’t feel it anymore,” sings Kip Berman on the song “Body”. This lyric, among others on Belong, provides a sense of numbness, sleepiness and mellow sadness.
However, not the entire album is slow and groggy. They mix it up with some upbeat, albeit lyrically melancholy, songs such as “Heart in Your Heartbreak”. The lyric “…and there’s no use to say just how much it kills, when it still kills all the same,” sounds poetic when combined with the contrast of an upbeat pop song. This is one of the singles on the album, and I can clearly see why.
These guys are really good songwriters. Their style, which could be called “shoegaze” or 80s revival indie rock, isn’t really important. There are few bands that really surpass their genre, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is one of those bands. They are essentially a pop band; however, these guys know exactly what they are doing.