I got a bit depressed and fed up looking at the Landfill Indie contenders, albeit there were some I was prepared to talk up.  The very mention, however, of Toploader by a few of you in the comments section last week brought the sobering realisation of there being even greater depths of despair awaiting me if I kept the series going, albeit I’ve never thought of that particular band as being indie.  They are more, on the basis of the one hit single which everyone knows, an MOR pop band who just happened to have indie band haircuts….

So, I’m going back to the series of late 2020 in which I pull out a piece of vinyl from the collection, give it a fresh spin and record it at 320kpbs so that I can offer a hi-quality rip for your pleasure.  The previous nine efforts, in chronological order, were:-

1. Paul Haig – Blue For You
2. Kirsty MacColl – A New England
3. Associates – Party Fears Two
4. New Order – Blue Monday
5. Go-Betweens – Cattle and Cane
6. Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love….
7. Bourgie Bourgie – Breaking Point
8. The Wedding Present – Kennedy
9. Spiritualized – Anyway That You Want Me

The last of these was a guest posting by flimflamfan, and to be honest, I could do with a few more suggestions from regular/irregular readers as to what you would like to have a listen to on a Monday…you don’t even need to write up a guest piece, just make the suggestion and I’ll go dig out some words to accompany it. The only proviso is that I’ll need to have the song in the collection on vinyl as otherwise I can’t do the fresh rip.

Today’s offering is one of the ‘newest’ bits of vinyl to land at Villain Towers in that it was part of a ten-record purchase via Discogs. I’ve been shying away a bit from on-line activity when it comes to second-hand vinyl, partly as it has become hard to find value-for-money, but mainly as too many sellers’ description of their items are so far off the mark that I’ve found myself angry/disappointed that I’ve overpaid for something. I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t let down on this occasion – I went in specifically for one and came out with a large bundle (as I inevitably do!!), with the descriptions ranging from Near Mint to Very Good Plus, with prices to match the quality.

From the 7″ single on green vinyl, released jointly by Slumberland Records and Fortuna Pop in 2008, a band who might really only ever have had one tune, but it was a great tune to listen and/or dance to, no matter how often they released a very slight variation on it:-

mp3: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Come Saturday
mp3: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Side Ponytail

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart were from NYC, forming in 2007 and breaking up in 2019. There were five albums, although I have to confess that I have nothing beyond the time of the second album, Belong, released in 2011. There had been a great deal of energy and momentum over those first four years, with a batch of excellent sounding singles being matched by very listenable LPs and, by all accounts as I never did get to see them, highly enjoyable live sets, but then something of a lull in that having left Slumberland/Fortuna Pop for a different label after the second album, there would be no new material until 2014 with Days of Abandon, a quite prophetic title given it turned out to be received less favourably by the critics and fans alike.

Having said all the above, there may well be some of you out there who think this lot should be consigned to the landfill site……..



The bio is lifted from allmusic:-

With their wall-of-fuzz guitar stylings and sugary pop underpinnings, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart nodded to any number of old-school indie pop and shoegaze acts, most notably Black Tambourine and My Bloody Valentine. New York-based musicians Alex Naidus (bass), Kip Berman (guitar/vocals), Kurt Feldman (drums), and Peggy Wang (keyboards/vocals) came together to form the Pains of Being Pure at Heart in 2007.

The band recorded a few tracks soon after forming, which were released as a self-titled 3″ CD-R on Cloudberry Records. A self-titled EP followed soon after for Painbow. In 2008, the band released a number of limited-edition split singles on Atomic Beat Records and Slumberland. Their first album, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, was released in February of 2009 on Slumberland, and the good reviews and positive press (including a spot on Late Night with Carson Daly) made them one of the most talked-about bands of early 2009.

After the release of the summer 2010 single Say No to Love, legendary producers Flood (Smashing Pumpkins) and Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine) were hired to give the band a slicker, more powerful sound. The resulting album, Belong, was released by Slumberland in March of 2011. After touring their second album, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart returned to the U.S. and Berman began writing new material for their third album. With the departure of original keyboardist Peggy Wang and bassist Alex Naidus, Berman brought together a refreshed line-up — which featured A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s Jen Goma and brass player Kelly Pratt alongside Feldman — to record the album with Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Rós). The resulting Days of Abandon was produced by by Andy Savours and released in 2014 by Yebo Music.

The band’s next album was produced by Savours again and featured Berman handling most of the music himself, though Goma contributed vocals on many songs and touring bassist Jacob Danish Sloan helped out too. The sound of the album was heavily influenced by ’80s new wave and pop, while the lyrics largely dealt with Berman’s impending fatherhood. The Echo of Pleasure was released by Painbow Records in September of 2017.

One of my favourite 7″ singles over the past decade and a bit came through one of the limited-edition efforts referred to above, although I’ll hold my hands up and say that it didn’t come to my notice until a few years later after hearing it at one of the indie discos and Aldo giving me all the info I needed to track it down:-

mp3 : The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Young Adult Friction

It’s a wonderfully catchy, near-anthemic, gloriously happy four minutes of indie-pop. I defy anyone to listen and not want to start dancing.  It’s also on their debut album, a superb collection of indie-pop guitar tunes that are loud, infectious and have their roots very much in the best of the 80s.

Here’s your b-side to Young Adult Friction.  It demonstrates that even when they aren’t making energetic, jangly and joyous music, they are a band well capable of holding your attention:-

mp3 : The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Ramona