Review | Purson


Purson, Desire’s Magic Theatre, Spinefarm Records

Purson make music that demands your attention. Not only that, they make albums that require to be listened to from start to finish. Their’s is a genre of music that is anachronistic at its core: deep psych metal of the ilk that is rarely made these days. To overlook such a compelling band is a travesty in the extreme, and they have been wavering just below the radar for far too long. Back with their sophomore follow-up to 2013’s The Circle and the Blue Door, they forgo all sophomoric trappings, propelling their sound ever more forward, more inventive and bolder still.

Title track, ‘Desire’s Magic Theatre’ is a dirty old rock-n-roll song, reminiscent of ‘Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) from Concrete Blonde. Introducing horns into the picture provides a bigger, bolder sound than ever before. Rosalie Cunningham’s vocals – a hybrid reminiscent of Mariska Veres of 60s Dutch rock band Shocking Blue and Jinx Dawson of Satanic American heavy metal band Coven – carry the power to move mountains. Combined with the dark sensibilities unexpected shifts in tune, inventive and surreal in all the right places, a heady potion is concocted.

The obvious nod to The Jimi Hendrix Experience‘s third and final LP, ‘Electric Landlady’ demonstrates the prowess Purson have with taking 60s-inspired psychedelia, then turning it on its head without being too directly referential. ‘Dead Dodo Down’ is a bluesy cabaret number bringing to mind the likes of Dresden Dolls at their most malevolent. The sheer musicality of the band is incredibly versatile, inventive, and eclectic. Truly in command of their instruments, they have earned the right to take risks without risking their integrity.

‘The Sky Parade’ builds on the use of tension and ambiance, creating a soundscape redolent of The Doors’ ‘Spanish Caravan’, laced with all the troubadour qualities of Marc Bolan/TRex. Purson jumps in and out of genres all the time not getting bogged down or pegged into one specific pigeon-hole.

The modern music landscape is one that is constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, or depart from that which is considered overly familiar territory. So much is turning away from the established monolith of rock-n-roll, that it has left some to wonder if there’s really anything left to do with the beast. Purson have not only birthed their own dragon, but they have sat astride it and are blazing their own way to King’s Landing.

Megan Beard

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