Please welcome back your pure-bred guitar rock band.
Pure Love’s founders, Frank Carter and Jim Carroll, set out to create the perfect rock band last year with both of them coming from hardcore music backgrounds, a risky move but they found their song writing skills complemented each other – piecing together Carroll’s riffs and tracks to Carter’s lyrics.
The product of this labour is ‘Anthems’ – 11 tracks lovingly whittled down from an estimated 40 that the band have churned out in their ‘Rock Factory’. So the big question is: Have these hardcore converts actually delivered on a decent album or is it a translational disaster?
The album kicks off with a hard hitting track ‘She’ with its simple open chord riff, heavy bass and vocals that hit hard with the bass drum. There is no doubt that you’ve bought a classic rock album with this opener and they’ve added in all those words you want to hear like ‘fuckin’ and ‘devil’, setting the tone nicely. This is followed up by ‘Bury my Bones’ which has an air of the mid-2000’s echoing the elements of ‘The Darkness’ and ‘Sum 41’ but with a little more rawness in vocals and guitar. Although Carter and Carroll are tattoo sleeved, black t-shirt metal heads – the guitar solo has leotards and groinal guitar rubbing all over it.
These are just two examples of what Pure Love are really good at – short, sweet, big sounding rock tunes. A couple of my favourites include: ‘Handsome Devils Club’ which is like a pumped up ‘Instant Karma’ and ‘Scared to Death’ which has an epic overdriven bass riff with overlying guitar solos and a stomping chorus, it’s a hundred miles an hour and I bet it’s great live.
A couple of tracks show a different side to Pure Love. ‘The Hits’ showcases elements of the band’s metal past with muffled heavy power chords in the verses which wouldn’t sound out of place with a bit of slipknot over the top. ‘Anthem’ and ‘Heavy Kind of Chain’ are tracks that I feel shows Pure Love’s naivety in writing slower rock songs. Both these tracks are a little tiresome with repetitive lyrics and chord patterns that we’ve heard a thousand times – ‘Heavy Kind of Chain’ sounds a bit like hallelujah; stay away from t it boys, you might be sucked into X Factor! However I can’t fault the dark, reverb tones in ‘Anthem’, but the lyrics are repetitive and the song doesn’t go anywhere.
Overall, this is a good album. It made me feel 15 again, with that fresh excitement of wanting to strap a guitar on, scream out singing and stick my finger up to the world. It is what they are selling it as: A proper rock album.