Pure X: Pleasure 

C+

Pure X

Album: Pleasure
Label: Acéphale

The droning “Dream Over” from Pleasure, the full-length debut of Austin trio Pure X, deserves a place on everyone’s next bummer-summer mix-tape. The sleepwalking dragginess of the rhythm section creeps along like a long, sticky day packed with sun but not much to do, providing a murky undercurrent to falsetto “oohing” that floats along like an aimless melancholy. It’s a beguiling song—so much so that Pure X essentially remakes it 10 times on Pleasure, with diminishing returns. Sounding like Galaxie 500 on a beach vacation—or Real Estate after being slowed down several RPMs—Pure X isn’t dynamic enough to overcome the stifling sameness of its songwriting. So while “Dry Ice” and “Twisted Mirror” have sad, pretty melodies, they only go to places this album visits many, many times. The track that comes closest to veering elsewhere, “Surface,” nods ever-so-slightly to R&B with its finger-snap rhythm and low, sensual bassline. It isn’t a radical departure from the rest of the album by any means, but for a band averse to deviating even a little from its limited sonic palette, it’s refreshing. But for the most part, Pleasure delivers less on the promise of its title with every rehash of the same, endlessly whirring formula.

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