At $6.99 for a CD Baby digital download, “Tearing Down Paisley Garden,” the sixth album from long-standing Seattle’s The Purrs is quite a bargain. The band’s sound mines a rich and fertile area between dreampop and an edgier early 1970s sound. Like the heroin-rock of Velvet Underground, bass player and lead singer Jima has a talking/singing style, which is accented by Dr. Robert and Jason Milne (the two guitarists) who play off each other with slightly fuzzy, whammy chords. There’s no real hooks here–just a lot of grooving atmosphere. I mean, there are definitely hooks in the songs, but you won’t notice them. You’ll be too overwhelmed by everything else going on. This isn’t an album, it’s a world.
The opener, “Only Dreaming,” is a cover of a one-hit-wonder (original by Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry), and there’s another cover here as well (Lee Hazlewood’s “I Move Around”), but the rest are originals. Every song is good, but there’s one I want to mention special: “It Could Be So Wonderful.” It’s not that the song stands out or apart from the rest of the songs on Paisley Garden–the album has a definite sound and theme, and doesn’t waver–it’s just that it is so . . . Perfect. Building drum riffs (I haven’t mentioned drummer Craig Keller yet, and he deserves a name-drop for sure), keyboards adding to the urgency, and Oasis-style soaring harmonies . . . It is wonderful indeed. I can’t imagine how tremendous it must be to hear this live.
I’ve listened to this album three times since I received it, and each time I find more here.
BONUS OASIS COVERS: