Photos By: Summer Luu

By: Ty Velasquez

It’s safe to say San Diego is an indie rock town with our theme music permeating every area: from reggae minded OB to the most techno clubs of downtown. It helps our local scene that we are a mere hop and skip away from our older, hipper cousin LA. Once a band hits LA, why not make a quick trip down to laid back, sunny San Diego? Might as well grab some fish tacos on the way!

I was gleefully grateful when the Pains of Being Pure at Heart decided to play a set at the Casbah. Fresh from the Troubadour, they graced us with their stellar melodies. The group is grounded in quality songwriting and the ability to create tunes that set themselves apart from each other. Though they have a distinct sound, you won’t get bored because each song has it’s own personality. They shrewdly allow their songs to grow in their own heady space and evolve into something fresh and interesting.

The stage was simple, with the usual trippy light set up. A sign of a great band is that they don’t need anything extra to detract from the amazing music they are playing. At the end, the set felt a bit short, but I chalk it up to time flying in the hands of fun. Since they recently released the beautiful, but more subdued Days of Abandon, they concentrated on songs from the new album. They are becoming a more cohesive unit, growing from their unique experiences. In the time they’ve been together they are differentiating themselves from the bands they love and emulate to a rightfully acclaimed group. Maybe it’s all the time spent together on the road. You can hear it in their music that they are friends having fun playing music together.

Of course, I was ecstatic to hear my old favorites! The jangly, almost accordion sounding loveliness of “Young Adult Friction” made my heart skip a beat. The coming of age, dreamy melody of “The Body” took me back to my before nerdy was cool high school days. As all great songs do, it set off my synapses to time traveling mode. Alas, the new album had some incredible standouts. “Simple and Sure” with it’s quirky opening, tinkling synth, and echoey female vocals was a dream. “Until the Sun Explodes” (watch the video! One word: Jem) was shoegaze done to perfection. But the one that stole my heart was Eurydice! It went off like a hawk soaring, taking the whole crowd with it, all of us holding our collective breath during the breakdown. The band began harmonizing gorgeously and in that instant created the moment of the night. One I won’t soon forget…

I’d like to thank Pains of Being Pure at Heart for making a stop in sleepy SD. It helps to hear music from bands that don’t Belong when living in a city where no one does.