Veterans of the music scene know how to navigate the waters. While some newcomers try to shift from their roots, seasoned experts know to hold true to their style. Drawing from basement band grit and a punk ethos of longevity and sincerity, the Purrs‘ latest release, The Boy With Astronaut Eyes, is a collection of alternative anthems that create a constellation of chords with no-holds-barred lyrics and otherworldly melodies.
The space-themed album opens with “The Promises We Made,” a rather Jimmy Eat World-esque stomper that declares the band’s intent for the album––to bulldoze the crowd with their starry-eyed chaos. Although it could be the lead single for any band playing a scuzzy underground venue, that doesn’t make it bad. “You, the Medicine, & Me” is a fine example of the album’s contribution to the scene. With its dual-gender vocal lines and grungy guitars, it establishes the Weezer meets Shiny Toy Guns feel that continues throughout the ten tracks. Its hypnotizing groove continues through the interludes, as if there’s a mind control device embedded in the song to force the listener to bop their head. “Cracked Head” begins with coughing and a garage rock beat, topping the music with vocals straight out of the fifties. The band has a retro-meets-future feel and sound like the American space race. The band have done a great job at the theme of intergalactic punk rock and made it their own.
You can tell just by listening that the Purrs have a long-standing pedigree. Sometimes, though, this works tot their disadvantage. Songs like “Cemetary Johnny” are a bit confusing, taking the rocket aspect of space travel a tad too far and diluting the song. Their summoning of eighties mojo doesn’t work every time, but when it does, it’s a home run. There’s nothing that makes the album stand out, but playing it remotely safe seems to work for the band. The Boy With Astronaut Eyes a bit tricky to digest, but it’s a pretty tasty meal, even if it’s tangy in spots.