Punk trio Purple have named their first ever record '(409)' after the area code they're confined to out in Texas. Sonically, it recalls a history lesson in stripped down punk rock as well as shades of newer, quirkier acts who incorporate punk into their spontaneous indie rock (think Cage the Elephant style quirks).
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Angsty but ultimately upbeat pop-punk that lands somewhere between Cage the Elephant, the Ting Tings, X and Jawbreaker? I’ll take it. That’s not the greatest roster of comparisons, really, but it gets at what Purple are doing with ‘(409)’, their own slice of Texan punx: making sweet, affable tunes with a bit of attitude (not as much as the axe-wielding, forest-fire inducing album cover, mind) and just enough speed. I think I speak for all of us when I say: “owwwwwwwww!”.
‘(409)’ is at its best when Purple are show-boating, acting like this is their tenth record in a career of twenty years, rather than their first in a couple -- they assume they’ve been famous since the dawn of punk rock, which isn’t a bad way to throw yourself into this sector. The vocal changeovers are scowled with as much glee as fury, such as on “Lece Loco”, where the trio trade bridges and choruses and make sure they take turns on the catchy shit. The guitars on “Beach Buddy” swirl around jubilantly as the band take on a rolled-eyes approach to being the Pixies. They fuck shit up, but their names are in the system, so they keep it simple. Pop goes punk? More like punk stays pop.
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