Starry - Review
Being somewhat familiar with various groups from the L.A. goth scene, the name Purr Machine is a familiar one and so it was a special treat to pick up this album from this unique group. This is their sophomore release following up their debut release Ging Ging. This album contains 15 distinctly unique tracks with guest musicians that readers from Gothic Paradise will no doubt recognize such as William Faith (Faith and the Muse), Statik (Collide) and Byron Brown (former Kommunity FK bandmate and currently with Mercurine).
The music on this album is a sort of eclectic and unique mix spanning psychadelic, shoegazer, gothic and ethereal genres. While the gothic and ethereal mix always goes together great, I thought it was interesting the way a bit of psychadelia was mixed into it all through spatialized, reverberating vocals and echo with siren-like guitars as a backdrop. A perfect example of all of this mixed together appears on "Nefarious" as it moves along in a somber, ethereal rock style and then mid-way through just breaks down into a psychadelic trip, then goes right back on in that same somber style it started with. These styles are mixed throughout each track and many break them down separately for a very complete and broad sound on this disc.
The album kicks off with a powerful dirge of guitars and moving rock piece with "Get Close" and drifts off into the haze of "Sad I'm Gone". But when you get to "Monkey Dreams" and "Elasticized", the mix of styles isn't present, but each track builds on one solid theme, making it a little more cohesive so the listener doesn't feel quite as much like their on some 70's drug-induced trip. Although the titles of the pieces don't really indicate that these would be such solid pieces, surprisingly enough these are solid, stellar tracks that quickly stand out as favorites for me. But it doesn't end with just these two pieces, we still have a dozen tracks left to cover on the album, and out of these there are a number of really great selections. Of these, I'll just point out "Keep Me In Mind" which is another piece that trims out the haze and comes off clear and solid. This doesn't mean I don't like some of these reverberating pieces with all the layers of electronics and guitars, in fact the dreamy piece "Holding Back The Tears" is one that pulls this mix together well.
As the album starts to wrap up, it leaves the listener feeling like they've been on an unusual trip, some of it pretty wild, but most is dreamy and though not exactly peaceful, it's pretty relaxing and fun at times. Kind of like the artwork on the packaging portrays (the front of the disc is the close up of an eye, inside there's a picture of a fish as if it were floating through the air in a forest), it's a little different, but accessible and enjoyable for fans of the gothic, shoegazer and ethereal genres. I definitely recommend it as a break from the EBM-infused music permeating the scene today.
Label: No Bliss Lost Records